Recent black bear activity in the Whaletown area is reminding the Cortes community that we live in black bear country and need to remain diligent in our responsibilities to ensure the safety of islanders and bears.
Our 5 point primer, Learning to Live with Bears on Cortes Island, is posted in public spaces throughout the community and attached below for your reference.
Please take the time to familiarize yourselves with this information; thank you.
Several recent encounters with a black bear in the Whaletown area have emphasized salient points found in the primer:
1. Use electric fencing to protect livestock by day and ensure livestock are in predator proof shelters by night. **Remember that bees are livestock.
2. Harvest fruit from trees & bushes daily as they ripen; do NOT allow windfalls to accumulate on the ground.
3. Manage your compost properly – ensure it is odour free! Do NOT add fish, meats, oils, cooked foods or unrinsed eggshells.
4. Dogs must be leashed when walked; never walk dogs in areas with known bear activity. One such area, right now August 23, is the Whaletown Commons; NO dogs on or off leash please.
Always remember… that if you encounter a bear, DO NOT RUN; back up slowly, speaking in a loud but low voice; give the bear space and DO NOT make eye contact.
Wildsafe BC is a provincial organization mandated to educate the BC public on wildlife coexistence; their mantra is, “Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.” COMPREHENSIVE information on black bears can be found on their website at www.wildsafebc.com/black-bear/
, which complements our bear primer by providing the necessary detail to explain the who, what, where ,when, why and how of the 5 points of critical information summarized into actions in the primer.
Please continue to report routine sightings of black bear and wolves to FOCI at 250 935 0087 or friendsofcortesgmail.com. FOCI is engaged in research to identify wildlife corridors across the Cortes Island landscape, to enhance wildlife coexistence.
Encounters of concern are to be reported directly to the COS at 1 877 952 RAPP (7277).