Lake Cowichan Gazette staffer Lauri Meanley got a bit of a start recently after locking up her front door and turning around to find a bear in her Lake Cowichan yard. She wasn’t the only one. Neighbours reported seeing a black bear near the school that day as well. Others have reported bears Crofton. And Shawnigan Lake. And Maple Bay. And Sahtlam. And so on and so forth across the region.
One of the benefits of living on Vancouver Island is that it’s full to the brim with nature and thus is rife with wildlife. With that comes a level of responsibility to protect those things.
Sgt. Scott Norris of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said it’s that time of year when bears are out and about looking to stock up on snacks before heading off to hibernate.
“There’s lots of bears around. They’re trying to fatten up,” Norris noted. “It’s people’s duty and by law under the Wildlife Act, they must lock up their garbage and any other food attractants so they don’t attract bears to their property.”
Bears are particularly keen on garbage and unpicked fruit trees.
“We want to keep bears wild,” Norris said. “People need to do everything possible to prevent bears from being attracted to their property.”
Norris asked folks to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line should they see somebody in violation of wildlife protection laws. The RAPP number is 1-877-952-7277 or *7277 on the Telus Mobility network.
Violations can also be reported online at https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/