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Squamish photographer comes face-to-face with black bear

Tips for keeping you and the bears safe in and around town this summer

Squamish's Robert Davidson Keir was stopped in his tracks this morning, (July 21) when he came face-to-face with a black bear in the Squamish Estuary. 

Keir ended his walk to avoid the bear, he said.

Bears are most active in the Sea to Sky Corridor from April to November but can be seen throughout the year.

Here are some black bear fast facts and tips directly from WildSafeBC to keep in mind in Squamish. 

Fur Facts

•The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common of the three bears found in Canada

• B.C. has some of the highest populations of black bears in the world, with estimates ranging from 120,000 to 150,000 animals

• They come in a variety of colours

• Vegetation makes up about 80% of their diet. 

•They are renowned for their acute sense of smell. This allows them to locate food at great distances

• While most bear encounters result in the bear leaving an area, they can become more assertive or destructive when they have learned to associate humans and their activities with food. 

•All bears that are aggressive in nature, or sightings in urban areas, should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service (1-877-952-7277)

•Reports of sightings can be viewed on this map. 


Surprising a bear or encountering a food-conditioned bear should be avoided. 

Here are some WildSafeBC tips to keep you and local bears safe: 

  • Watch for bear signs like scat (bear poop), tracks, freshly overturned logs, fresh claw marks on trees
  • Talk or sing to avoid surprising a bear
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and do not use headphones
  • Manage your attractants and never put someone else at risk by leaving food behind. Pack out what you pack in 
  • Avoid hiking alone
  • Keep pets leashed or under control when in bear country. Dogs may be perceived as a potential threat or prey to a black bear
  • If you find a carcass leave the area immediately and notify the Conservation Officer Service and/or landowner
  • Carry bear spray and be able to access it quickly. Learn more on the WildSafeBC Bear Spray page


Find out more through WildSafeBC.