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Bear Smart practices

The area around Lions Bay is prime bear habitat and there are times that bears need to pass through the village. Bears are typically active from March to December, but they don't have to hibernate if food is readily available. They can linger in neighbourhoods if there is non-natural food like garbage, other attractants or a cozy place to take shelter.

Reduce Attractants

Use Bear-Proof Waste Containers

  • Never store your garbage or food/organic waste outside unless it’s in a bear proof enclosure.

  • Only put your garbage and food waste out in your neighbourhood time slot  on collection day - it’s the LAW.

  • Freeze smelly garbage in a bag (compostable bags obtainable from the office) and add it to your food waste on collection day.

  • Do not store food in outdoor fridges and freezers.

  • Be proactive in encouraging neighbours and help educate them about bear attractants.


Keep Barbeques Clean

  • Barbeques and drip pans should be cleaned/burned off after each use since grease and fat are a high calorie food source for bears.

  • If at all possible, barbeques should be kept locked inside a bear-proof enclosure after they have been cleaned.

  • Covering a cleaned barbeque will further help to reduce the transmission of food odour.

  • A barbeque stored within a shed that has an un-cleaned grill or drip pan will still attract bears and will likely lead to property damage.


Fruit Trees are an Easy Target

  • Pick fruits off the tree as they ripen and then store them indoors. Ripe fruit has a high caloric value and is highly sought after by bears as a preferred food source.

  • You can also pick fruit before it ripens, and then let it fully ripen indoors.

  • If you don’t want the fruit or can’t use it all, consider letting others pick some or all for their own use.

  • If you don’t want the fruit, consider removing the trees altogether.


Be Vigilant With Composting For Your Garden

  • Do not add any food waste (meat, meat by-products, fish, cooked fruit & vegetables, etc.) to your compost heap; garden waste only.

  • Sprinkle lime in your compost. Lime helps the composting process and reduces the odour.

  • Covering the compost with a light cover of dirt or soil or a heavy cover of grass clippings will also assist with odours. LEARN MORE 


Keep Pet Food Inside and Locked Up

  • Pet food should be kept in an airtight, non-odorous container and locked inside residences.

  • Pet food should not be left outside.


The Old Adage is True! Bears Love Beehives and Honey

  • Beehives are a high calorie and high protein food source for bears and they love it!

  • Protect hives with electric fencing.

  • Placing beehives on platforms with an overhang of two metres or more can be an effective deterrent.

  • Wiring beehives together with metal strapping can also help prevent damage to beehives.

  • Don’t set up beehives during early springtime when other sources of food for bears are not available or may be scarce.


Bird Feeders are Irresistible to Bears

  • Birdseed and suet are high protein and caloric food source for bears.

  • Use bird feeders only in the winter when bears are denning and natural bird food is limited.

  • Take bird feeders in at night.

  • Keep the ground underneath the feeders clean and free of bird seed.

  • Fill your feeders regularly with just a small amount of feed, which will decrease the reward a bear would receive if it does get to your feeder.

  • Read more about how to be a Bear Smart bird feeder here.

Bear Awareness on Trails

Bears prefer to avoid contact with humans. Here are some tips to enjoy hiking the Lions Bay trails.

  • Make noise by using your voice i.e. talk, sing, or give a shout out from time to time. Your voice will help identify you as a human and non-threatening.

  • Hike in groups and carry bear spray.

  • Look for signs of recent bear activity i.e. claw marks on trees, fresh scat, day beds, ripped apart logs or overturned boulders.

  • Keep your dog under control and on a leash if not. Dogs can agitate bears and create a conflict situation, sometimes returning to their owners with a bear in pursuit.

  • Pack out what you pack in.

Bear Encounters

Most bear encounters seldom lead to aggressive behaviour and attacks are rare.  It's normal to be frightened, but it's very important to remain calm. If you run, it's natural for the bear to take chase.

In the Wild

  • Stop, stay calm, assess the situation and ready your bear spray.

  • Do not run and never turn your back on wildlife.

  • Back away slowly giving the bear as much room as possible.

  • Talk calmly, avoid eye contact and leave the area.


In the Village

  • Remain calm.

  • Give the bear plenty of space and an easy escape route.

  • Make lots of noise to encourage the bear to leave.

Keeping Bears Wild

As much as we love our bears, it's really important for them to not feel comfortable around humans. Please do not feed bears or roll-down your windows for a roadside chat with a bear or approach a bear to take a photograph.

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