Feature Creature: Black Bear

The Black bear is the most common bear in Canada. One quarter of Canada's Black bears live in BC and are well adapted to living in the wilderness and to thrive in close proximity to humans and culti vated areas. Bears can be encountered almost anywhere in the province. They are generally tolerant of humans, and prefer to be le/ alone, undisturbed. 

We have been hearing of bear encounters in and near local communities more and more.  Recently, Naramata became BC's newest Bear Smart Community. The reason they were celebrated as a Bear Smart Community is simple: garbage and attraction management.  By implementing restrictions around garbage and attractants (think fruit left on fruit trees), the community of Naramata was able to reduce the annual "destruction" of bears from seven to two bears in just four years.

How can you avoid a black bear encounter?

Be Alert: keep your eyes and ears open.
Make Noise: making noise lets bears know you are in the area; radio, moving 
machinery, the sound of human voices, and auditory scare devices
Food: keep all food and drinks in sealed containers and store used wrappers and 
uneaten food and drink back inside the container
Keep pets on a leash: dogs are a good first warning of intruders, but can also be 
prey, and can lead the bear back to you. Keep pets indoors or close by at night.

Black Bear attacks are extremely rare, but knowing how to respond may save yourself and others. Learn more about Black Bears, including what to do IF an encounter occurs in Living with Wildlife in BC: Black Bears.