Cause for concern? Multiple bear sightings in Vancouver caught on camera
Another day, another bear sighting in Vancouver.
A young black bear was spotted wandering in the yard of an East Vancouver home, a day after a bear sighting near Hastings Park, and two days after a black bear was seen running through a crowded park in Port Moody.
WATCH: Black bear spotted in East Vancouver
It has some wondering if inner-city bears are becoming more of a problem.
“Two bears came out of nowhere and the funny thing is, I assumed it was a person dressed up as a bear because it’s so abnormal that you see a bear in the city,” Elliott Cufaro, who recorded a video of a bear running near the PNE on Monday, told Global News.
“One of them had taken off and he seemed a lot bigger than the other one and then maybe two minutes later, another one came out of the same area where the first one had emerged.”
On Tuesday, Global News anchor Lynn Colliar shared a photo of a bear near her neighbour’s pool in East Vancouver early that morning.
Vancouver police and conservation officers responded. The bear was tranquilized and loaded into the back of a conservation officer truck before being transported away.
“We tend to have at least one report of a bear entering the City of Vancouver a year; it doesn’t come as a surprise,” Conservation Officer Clayton Debruin said.
He said getting into the urban area would have required the bear to take a number of risks.
“Bears are most active during the low light times of the day so after sunset they generally are more active until the early morning and that’s typically when there’s less vehicle and pedestrian traffic that makes them feel more comfortable to travel in search of food.”
Whether the bear, believed to be two years old and weighing about 150 pounds, will be released or put down has yet to be determined, according to Debruin.
He said conservation officers will have to consider factors like its age and its willingness to take so many risks to find food in and around loud vehicles, trains and people.
“He’s likely to gain anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds a year, so in a couple of year’s time he will be a very big male black bear, they can grow up to roughly 600 pounds, so we have to consider all these factors when we make our decisions about how we are going to manage this bear from this point forward,” Debruin said.
With a smell range of up to a kilometre, bears often find themselves in trouble when they follow their nose into urban areas, Debruin said.
“So it’s important that people realize that if you live in a Vancouver suburb or you live on the outskirts of Vancouver, you may be living in some form of bear habitat,” he added.
Residents are being reminded to keep their properties clean and to minimize attractants known to lure bears out of the woods into residential properties.
Debruin said people should secure garbage bins, clean greasy BBQ’s and maintain fruit trees and berry bushes.
He confirmed conservation officers did get a report of a bear sighting on Monday around 4:15 p.m. near Renfew and Hastings.
“We have a few parks bordering the Burrard Inlet and we do have some smaller green belts such as the sanctuary pond area at the PNE, which might provide a bear enough security that he feels safe and convince him to keep pressing further into Vancouver in search of food,” Debruin said.
On Sunday, a black bear surprised visitors of popular Rocky Point park in Port Moody as it ran through a crowded picnic area and playground. The incident led conservation officers to remind people not to run from a bear and instead to be loud, wave your arms and back away.
~ With files from Amy Judd and Lynn Colliar
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