Black bears in our community, (SAFE OR UNSAFE). Last Friday my daughter was walking home with a friend of hers when they encountered a small black bear at the intersection of Murrey and Mackenzie Way. Unfortunately for the bear the two kids caught a ride with a vehicle that was at the intersection. THANK YOU. When my daughter and her friend arrived home and told me what happened I was a little upset. We drove her friend home and on my way back I saw the police and the bear aware person at the scene. As I approached the police officer excused himself so I introduced myself to the bear aware person and told him what had happened and asked what was going to be done about this little bear.
NOTHING. He told me he has tracked this bear through our green belt in town for awhile now. Picked up its dropping to see what it is eating and followed it around our town. He has come to the conclusion that this young teenage bear is no threat to our children or the general public. In fact he has named him/her BOO BOO and also had to say that this bear is a resident in this community like you and I.
Growing up in a small town on the Queen Charlotte Islands I know first hand what black bears can do. They are just too unpredictable. I have seen bears break into homes, chase and kill dogs, (small and large), chase people and even consume a human that had passed away.
Transient bears were allowed to roam through town on their way to better pastures but when a bear took up residence it was removed immediately.
Back to our community problem, and what should be done. A bear has a 50/50 chance to live when relocated. I guess our children have a 50/50 chance to have a run-in with a bear. How do you determine a safe bear? Mother Nature works one way, young, weak, and old, fair game for food. An adolescent teenage mischievous black bear living in our community is going to learn.
Unfortunately for our children and elderly, one of them might pay the price.
I was online looking up stat on bears and humans in BC and this is what I come up with.
18 year period
Humans killed Humans injured
Grizzly bears 4 34
Black bears 10 78
I will let the community of Tumbler Ridge think of this.
Parent of two
Neighbors of other people?s grandparents
Bear Aware is a program of the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and is an educational program that is intended to reduce bear and human conflicts. For more information on this program, current statistics, and what the province is doing to reduce bear/human conflicts please visit them at www.bearaware.bc.ca
Mark Booten is our Bear Aware coordinator in Tumbler Ridge and he can be reached at 242-0004.