Citizen: ?Well, we live on a bear migration route, of course we see a lot of bears?.

This is a common misconception as bears do not migrate. Bears wander through their home ranges just like you and I might wandering through our neighbourhood. A bears preferred habitat is a lush valley basin which is also the preferred habitat for humans. Home ranges for bears may cover a vast territory and they often overlap each other but they do not migrate.

This fact of bear behaviour and biology is important for us to keep in mind because we live with bears in the same ?neighbourhood?. They don?t just wander through on their way to somewhere else. They walk around their ?neighbourhood? going to where they know the food is. That?s millions of years of evolution talking.

Why is this important for us? We need to keep this in mind so we can be better neighbours. Once a behaviour is learned, the bear will use it for the rest of it?s life (just like us) therefore it is up to us to be more responsible. The bears that were destroyed this summer were living around here for a long time. They were probably coming to town for years as they realized that there was an easily available high calorie food source here (garbage). People however, do not tolerate bears in the community as they pose a serious threat to public safety and so the animals were destroyed. This cycle will continue unless we change the way we deal with attractants.

?A fed bear is a dead bear?.

This is a slogan which has echoed in BC for years but we keep ignoring it. A bear is not going to ignore its instincts and leave us alone even though we leave out all kinds of garbage for it to eat. It will follow its nose through its ?neighbourhood? looking for whatever it can eat.

Bears are bears but they are also our neighbours; let?s stop inviting them over for dinner and then shooting them instead.

Stats for Tumbler Ridge

Complaints made to Bear Aware Office ? Tumbler Ridge:

Black Bear 81

Local Complaints made to Conservation Officer Service ?

Dawson Creek

Black Bears39

Grizzly Bears (not in town)4



Bear Location, Attractant, and Destroyed by

Sow and cub. Wolverine, Garbage, fruit trees RCMP

Boar Peace River Cres. Garbage, Conservation Officer

BoarHembrook, Garbage, RCMP

Sow and cubDowntown, Garbage, Conservation Officer

?Till next week, bear with me (and be a good neighbour)