Twelve bear deaths in a post-Bear Smart Squamish is too many, the co-ordinator of community's Bear Aware program said this week.
Meg Toom said in a statement issued on Monday (Oct. 15) that 2012 has been a “challenging” year for the Squamish-area's bears and those working to minimize human-bear conflicts.
“With a wet spring and unseasonably dry weather during the late summer and fall, the alpine berry crop has been negatively impacted, forcing many bears to forage for food in the valley in close proximity to highly populated neighbourhoods,” she said.
Another big reason for the increase in bear activity is some residents' failure to secure attractants — including garbage, fruit growing on trees and birdfeeders, she said. Partly because of that, conservation officers have been forced to shoot and kill 12 bears after they were deemed public safety threats. That's the highest number since 27 bears were killed in Squamish in 2004, the year before the Bear Aware program was launched.
To report wildlife sightings or encounters, please call the Conservation Officer Service's 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell.
The Conservation Officer Service and Bear Aware are hosting the third “Living with Wildlife” presentation at the Adventure Centre on Thursday (Oct. 25). Organizers plan to screen the National Film Board film “Bear No. 71” and follow up with a presentation and Q&A. Doors open at 6:30 and the movie starts at 7, with presentation at 7:30 p.m.