Reporting Bear And Other Wild Animal Sightings
Be Bear Aware and Stay Safe
The natural curiosity of bears brings them into our community. While exploring our residential areas, they become ensnared in a web of garbage and other attractants. Bears are ruled by their stomachs; if they cannot find the food they need, they soon leave the area. Foraging in community is a learned behaviour that threatens the safety of both the bears and the residents of our community.
Reporting Bear And Wild Animal Sightings
If you see a bear or other wild animal that is going about its regular business such as walking through your yard, trails, or open park spaces, don’t panic, leave it alone and do not cut off its escape path. Report the sighting to the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24 hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP or report it on-line at www.rapp.bc.ca.
If you encounter a bear feasting on residential garbage or any wild animal that is acting threatening or aggressive call the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24hr hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP or report it on-line at www.rapp.bc.ca. Dispatchers can provide advice for sightings when public safety is not threatened and a Conservation officer may be dispatched depending on the circumstances.
Avoiding Bear Encounters
Human-bear encounters can happen on the walking trails. Trail users are advised to watch for and be cautious around bears and other wildlife. Bear attacks are rare, but be aware that these are wild animals and their actions are unpredictable.
- Travel as a part of a group
- Be alert where bears may not be able to see, hear, or smell you: on twisting trails, in dense brush, near running water, or when the wind is in your face
- Avoid wearing strong perfumes
- Make noise (clap or sing); let the bear know you are on the trail
- Keep children close to you at all times, don't let them wander ahead or lag behind
- Avoid wearing headphones while walking or jogging
- Watch for fresh bear signs (droppings, tracks, scratches on trees, overturned boulders, or smashed logs)
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times
- Never approach a bear, maintain a distance of at least 100 metres
- Bear spray can be an effective deterrent when used properly. Be aware that wind, spray distance, rain, freezing temperatures, and product expiry can all influence bear spray effectiveness. If you plan to carry it, learn how to use it.
All Residents Need to Do Their Part Too
Bears that associate food with human activities often lose their natural fear of humans. Becoming bolder and more aggressive in their search for food, bears can get into all kinds of mischief, putting themselves and people around them at risk.
One meal from a backyard or garbage can is enough to bring a hopeful bear back again and again. And bears are smart! If they can get a meal from your garbage can they quickly learn to check every can in the neighbourhood.
Never feed a bear or any wild animal. A fed wild animal loses its natural fear of humans and will likely need to be destroyed.
For more information on being Bear Aware, visit the Bear Safety site.