As a relatively new resident of Sooke who purchased a homestead on the river, I’m a keen observer of nature – the good, the bad and the ugly. I sit on my porch overlooking the sometimes trickling, sometimes ominous but always glorious and entertaining Sooke River.
I quickly learned we needed to beef up our garbage containers so as not to draw bears, raccoons and scavenger birds into the yard. So we built our “Bearicade” because, as responsible people, that is what you do. Over the past five years, with the development on Phillips Road and the influx of people, the bears have dwindled. I’ve spoken to some of the newcomers and I’m curious why some of them have come here. Do people appreciate the essence of Sooke and how the people and nature have lived together with respect and tolerance?
I watched a mother bear and her cub for three years. My heart ached the year the mother abandoned the yearling and he walked up and down the riverbank crying out for her. It provokes awe and empathy, it’s so rare and very, very special in this age of technology to be able to live among this world and work among the techno.
I have yet to see a bear fishing on the river this year. Where are they? There must be something we can do besides eradicate them. I hear BOOM in the evening and I know another bear is gone.
I want to instil upon people the importance of being responsible in managing their refuse by picking up and donating the fruit to organizations to feed wild animals in need – organizations such as WildARC. Barricade garbage containers, gardens and compost so the bears can continue to live. They’ll all be gone soon enough with the human race taking over this earth. Let’s experience them safely and protect them so our children and grandchildren can at least catch a glimpse of a beautiful and wild creature outside of a cage.