Becoming bear aware when we venture into their domain

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To the Editor

A former Port Coquitlam resident, we had acreage and saw black bears as our home was cradled on a mountain forest. Canada has majestic beauty, breathtaking wonders, curvaceous terrain and wildlife – we reside near wildlife of all sorts. The human sprawl has encroached on their habitat with many bear sightings, bruins being killed by authorities (some justifiable but not all)and a few unfortunate savage attacks. Hope and prayers for the 10-year-old victim; a Poco girl. Bears can spring on you with rocket speed and unpredictability and are extremely dangerous with cubs. Always make noise on trails or campgrounds, look for bear signs like scat and go with a partner as it takes mere seconds for an encounter to go brutal. To the tragic victim, you are not alone and prayers go to the family. We need to be more proactive and reactive; including school education and hefty fines for foolish people who feed wildlife (include tourist), or are silly with human trash. An avid outdoorsman, I see carelessness from many who go in the wilderness without making a sound, without a partner, or otherwise. We venture in their domain, and whether it is a cougar or a bruin we must not be afraid, nor unattentive. There are no guarantees and we do not know the circumstances of this attack. In the end, we hope for a speedy recovery for an innocent child. In some cases destroying the animal is warranted, but in others it is highly contentious. Ironic, we can turf an animal for coming close including trash bears, but for murderers and other serious offenders, we are burdened by costly jail time (many examples fit the label); the latter has a more developed brain. The bleeding hearts will defend and champion the cause of our dangerous human kind, but for a wild animal (who do not attack) their voices are often silent. Relocation of bears is costly, but do not compare to many other costly scenarios that are draining our wallets.

Kerwin Maude

Pitt Meadows, BC