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Bear season on North Shore off to a busy start

Last Updated Apr 23, 2021 at 2:27 pm PDT

File photo. (iStock)

Bears usually come out of their dens in March, but they were seen in North Shore communities in February this year

At least nine bears spotted on the North Shore so far

North Shore Black Bear Society says it gets multiple reports of bears getting into garbage every day

NORTH SHORE (NEWS 1130) – A boost in hiking popularity on the North Shore, brought on by the pandemic, is apparently pressuring the local bears to look for food away from the forest and into human communities.

The North Shore Black Bear Society is warning we may see more of the animals in our neighbourhoods.

Executive Director Luci Cadman says it’s been an “incredibly busy” start to the season.

“In fact, we’ve actually had bear activity over the winter here on the North Shore. We’ve provided education to residents across North and West Vancouver,” she said.

Cadman says male bears usually stay in their dens until March.

“In mid-February, we identified at least nine bears that were active in communities across the North Shore,” she said.

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She says those bears went straight from their dens to communities where they found unnatural food sources.

Cadman is reminding you that garbage, bird seed, and pet food can be attractants. You are advised not to put out the garbage for collection early, as bears will likely look for residential food sources in the months ahead.

She says if people don’t take steps to keep bears away from residential areas, the animals can become a nuisance for people in the area.

“The consequences for bears … is that they will be killed for finding food from humans,” Cadman said.

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The society gets multiple reports of bears getting into garbage on a daily basis.

“It’s very, very normal to see them during the daytime,” Cadman noted. “We’ve had a few reports of people seeing bears during the day and think that’s not typical behaviour, but it absolutely is.

She says the bears in that area are intelligent animals and are comfortable with people “at a certain distance.”

“We should never approach these animals, but we’re letting people know, too, that we shouldn’t expect them to run away when they see people. That really is a waste of energy. By nature, these animals are calm and peaceful,” she said.