BEARS IN TUMBLER RIDGE

Let me tell you a little story about a bear I know:

This fellow was born in the wild, in his den buried by snow. It spent it?s first two years next to Mamma learning everything that it needed to know: where the best berry crops are, how to dig up roots, which are the tastiest plants, where are all the nuts, how to bury a carcass, how to play, where his boundaries are, humans are bad and frightening and so on. This little bear spent his first years doing what all little bears do: learning, watching, experimenting, testing and absorbing everything around him so he could acquire the life skills he will need to survive, grow old, mate, form his own home range and live the life of a wild bear as nature intended.

Well as all teenagers do, when Mom said ?off you go? and he headed out in the wide world he took a wrong turn. He probably caught the scent of good ol? Tumbler Ridge during his wanderings and even though Mom said not to go there, like any adolescent, he did the opposite.

So what did he find? Smells that meant easy food and lots of it. Who needs to work for a meal if you can get a free lunch? He found birdseed everywhere, garbage around and not looked after, slurpee cups with yummy sticky residue littering the forest, nice greasy BBQ grills, dog food outside even humans that will leave out food just for him! Sure the humans are scary but for such an easy meal, why not risk it?

So this bear went from beautiful wild animal to ?City slicker?; he?s moving closer and closer to humans as he becomes more and more habituated to our presence, he?s becoming bolder and bolder as he feels that humans aren?t such a threat; he?ll eventually become a danger to people in the area as human habituated bears are far more likely to become aggressive towards us than wild bears. A wild bear sees people and takes off running. This one doesn?t. He?s a ?problem? bear.

Hey, who?s the problem here anyway?

This is not a fable. This bear is in the forest on the north side of town and is marked for relocation before something happens to any of our citizens. As a relocated bear, he?ll probably be killed by another bear who?s home range he will be invading or starve to death as he get chased away by older, more dominant bears. Maybe, just maybe, he?ll be lucky and find a little spot where he can survive.

What do we care anyway?

?Till next week, bear with me.

Did you know that one of every four grizzly bears remaining in North American live in British Columbia?

Our total land mass in British Columbia is 947,800 sq. km. and we have a population of 3,282,061?

To give some perspective to that figure consider that London, England occupies a land mass of 16,043 km with a population of 13,945,000 based on 2005 census.