EDITORIAL

We have a huge problem in this community and it’s about bears.
I woke up the other morning to garbage strewn down the street I live on. Someone had put their garbage out early and guess what got into it? You guessed it, a bear.
I go and walk around town and hear bear bangers a lot. We have photos of a black bear in our feature writer’s yard trying to get to food in a miniature tree house that contains no bird seeds; it’s there for asthetics.
I found out later in the day that the same bear was in my yard that night. My house was fine, I have a bear bin and I keep my garbage inside until my garbage day.
Unfortunately, there are several people in this community that don’t. I’m not sure when some forgot that we live in a mountain community and with that comes wild animals.
A few years ago I saw one of my neighbours taking loads of bread out of their truck one day in the winter. I’m talking a truckload of expired bread. It took me a few days to figure out (after seeing a herd behind my fence) to realize they were feeding the deer. I understand that they are trying to help ... but all they really accomplished was to start bringing the predators into our area.
That same year a cougar took a deer down in my yard and that same spring a bear nonchalantly walked into my yard while my kids were on the trampoline.
A few weeks later the same bear broke into my neighbour’s garbage and tore down half my fence trying to get away.
Fish and Wildlife came to the house and tried to chase it away with the Karelian Bear Dog and the bear went after the dog. Unfortunately the bear had to be euthanized. I do believe it’s the little black bear John Clarke takes around to show the kids during bear aware talks.
My thoughts are this same bear could have attacked my children, a young child going into Donna’s Day Care or ISS down the road.
My point is that no wildlife should be fed by anyone. You are not doing them any favours. As a result of my neighbours feeding deer a bear came around and now it’s dead.
Keep your garbage secure. Get a bear bin and if you can’t afford one keep it in your house until it’s the morning of your garbage. You can put your garbage out the morning of your pick-up at 6:00 am in secure lidded garbage. You can read the Bylaw No. 863, 2013 - Solid Waste Collection and Disposal on the Municipal website page.
The last few years we have done a great job in the community following the by-law and the bears were safe from our mistakes. This year, for some reason, we as a community have become lax. The bears are coming into the community based on a harsh berry season last year before they denned and the fires around the province forcing the little ones into the community.
We are a kind, thoughtful community, now lets use our common sense and help keep these bears, and by default our citizens safe. It always seems that we only do our job when tragedy happens. Please make sure you don’t do something that you have to live with by not putting your garbage away properly or having bird feeders full of seeds. I’m not sure I could live with that, could you?