Peachland residents warned as bear makes repeated visits to neighbourhood

Annemarie de Jong's surveillance caught a bear walking near her front door in Peachland Wednesday. Courtesy: Annemarie de Jong/ Global Okanagan

Signs warning Peachland residents of a bear in their community have been set up in neighbourhoods off Highway 97 near Ponderosa Drive.

Global Okanagan. Global Okanagan

The signs include warnings to bring garbage indoors to avoid conflicts and further entice the bear to stick around.

Sightings of the bruin have lit up social media, prompting heated debate.

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“Leave the poor bear alone,” Mike Edstrom wrote in the Peachland Neighbours Facebook group. “They come out of hibernation every year all messed up looking for food. What would you do if you were in their shoes?”

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The bear was reported to have been seen in the townhouse complex in the 4000 block of Trails Place around 10 p.m. on Thursday night as well as in the 4000 block of Ponderosa Drive.

On May 7, David MacGregor posted a photo of a small bear walking through the townhouses being built at the Ponderosa Golf Club.

Some asked residents to refrain from taking photos of the bear to keep it a secret from conservation officers, which others said is already aware the animal is active in the area.

“We were informed they won’t be relocating but destroying it instead, as one: it’s too costly, two: the bear can find its way back, and three: the bears chances of survival in a new area is slim to none as it’s harder to find a food source,” Heather Schramm posted.

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Mission resident questions alleged dumping of dead bears – May 8, 2019

One Peachland resident said she saw the bear near a coyote in an area up Princeton Ave on Thursday.

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“The coyote was chasing marmots and the bear was eating grass and bugs from the stumps,” said Kari Kallen. “They were together for a long time. It didn’t seem like either thought of the other as prey.”

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Kallen said she hoped the bear wasn’t destroyed.

A large brown bear was seen on Hardy Falls Rd. off Renfrew Rd. on May 7.

Information about being bear aware can be found on the Wild Safe B.C. website here.

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