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Be Safe

The forests around Lions Bay are home to many species, including bears. In 2011 Lions Bay received its Bear Smart accreditation from the Ministry of Environment, and we are committed to peaceful coexistence with wildlife.

Most black bear encounters seldom if ever lead to aggressive behaviour and attacks are rare.  It's normal to be frightened, but it's important to remain calm.

It's important that bears are respectful of our spaces and we need to "teach" them boundaries. If they're passing through your property, let them go. But if they're lingering in your yard or sniffing around your doors or deck, tell them to move along. They may not move fast but as long as they're leaving as told, this is the behavior we want to see.

If You Meet a Bear

 

  • 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.

 

If the Bear Is:

  • At a distance: back away slowly, take another route.

  • Bear is close: stay calm, talk to him calmly and slowly back away (do not run). Show you’re not a threat, ensure the bear has an exit route.

  • In your yard: from a safe place, use a firm tone to tell him to leave (be persistent).

  • Bear is attracted to a food source at your property: in a firm, loud voice encourage him to move on. Remove the food source before the bear can get to it only if it is safe to do so. Never put yourself close to the bear.

  • Bear bluff charges then stops: give him plenty of space and slowly back away, facing him. Talk to him calmly and get your bear spray ready. If attacked, play dead by laying on the ground on your stomach with your hands over your neck. Let the bear know you are not a threat. Stay down till you’re sure the bear has left.

  • Bear climbs a tree: back away slowly and leave, giving him plenty of time/room to leave the area. Don’t leave dogs to bark at the base of the tree.

​Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do if they encounter a bear.

Tips While Hiking

Bears prefer to avoid contact with humans. 

  • 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.

  • If a bear climbs a tree, back away and leave the area slowly, taking your dog(s) with you.

 

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.

Understanding and respecting the importance of keeping wildlife wild helps keep residents safe and allows us all to to enjoy the splendour of where we live. Large predators seek smaller prey, so it's important we do not provide attractants or shelter for wildlife in, or around our homes.

Brochures with information about species and how to reduce contact and conflict are available at WildSafeBC - Brochures.

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