We are incredibly sad to announce that the COS destroyed the bear with the yellow tag on Wednesday night after it had entered a home earlier in the day where a door had been left open. Although it was shooed out, the outcome was inevitable.
Although most of us are doing all the right things to peacefully coexist with our bear neighbours, it is regrettably again a chain of human errors that led to this tragic and avoidable death. Based on reports, this bear had not been problematic until recently, when it accessed waste being stored openly in a yard and potentially other instances not confirmed.
Bears are quick learners so even a single instance where a reward is earned teaches a bear to repeat bad behaviour. The best way to prevent bear deaths is to keep attractants out of reach of all wildlife (including raccoons, coyotes, crows/ravens and rodents) and “teach” bears to move along using a firm voice or by making noise.
Staff and Bear Smart have been in contact with the COS in connection with this week’s incident and are planning a follow-up meeting in September or earlier.
We can assure residents that members of our committee are in touch with the COS, the North Shore Black Bear Society and other organisations, tapping into experts for advice and information on an ongoing basis.
Recent reports to email@example.com and Bear Smart have indicated some residents are not complying with the Garbage and Recycling Collection Bylaw, including ensuring that waste is not accessible to wildlife:
Never store your garbage/food waste outside unless it’s in a bear-proof enclosure (wooden sheds are not bear-proof).
Only put your garbage and food waste out during your time slot on Fridays.
Freeze food waste before putting it curbside in a can with a secure lid.
Do not store food in outdoor fridges/freezers.
Close doors and windows, including garage doors, unless you are in the immediate vicinity.
While this is not a numbers game, Works Manager Karl Buhr has created this graph from COS stats going back to January 2021 (thank you, Karl) which emphasizes the need to be ultra-vigilant in ensuring there are no attractants around your home:
As a reminder, residents can drop off food waste and garbage (only) at the Works Yard from 6am – 8am Fridays and 8am – 11am on Saturdays, or curbside as per the time slots.
Bear Smart will be hosting another coffee session in the Fall when a bear behaviour expert will again talk about how to live alongside bears and what to do if you see one (similar to our June 3rd presentation). We encourage you to come along to learn more and have your questions answered. Look out for info after the summer.
We will continue to provide information on how to be Bear Smart here, on social media and via other opportunities. If you have new neighbours, please let them know about our website www.lionsbaybearsmart.ca which will tell them about the village’s Bear Smart requirements.
We know it’s devastating to hear this news, but we thank you for your efforts to keep the bears and our community safe.