A Langley man spotted a bear in his driveway on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 7, and it’s no stranger to the neighbourhood, he says.
Robert Currie sent photos of the bear to the Langley Advance, noting that it’s been seen in the neighbourhood feasting on ripening fruit.
He captured photos of the bear in the 20600 block of 95A Avenue.
“Initially, the bear was spooked and climbed halfway up a tree but eventually came down and wandered back into the Yorkson Creek watershed,” he said.
Conservation officer Alicia Stark said the office has received calls about the bear – “a couple each day.”
So far the bear has been eating fruit in fruit trees and got into food in a compost bin “but has not shown any kind of aggression,” she said.
Stark said she would be visiting the area to try and track the bear so she can find the spot where it goes to rest.
“If I can nail down a spot… I’m really hoping I can set a trap [for relocation],” she said.
The small black bear was likely born last year and this would be his first year away from its mother.
“He’s still easily scared off,” she noted.
That’s a good thing for the bear. If it gets too used to being around people, it would likely have to be killed.
“We don’t want it to become habituated,” Stark explained.
She said the public can help by checking their property for things that will attract bears.
“We are wanting people to remove all fruit off their trees whether it’s ripe or not,” she said.
Bears will go after unripe fruit. The other option, used by some property owners in places such as Maple Ridge and Coquitlam, is electric fencing.
People should remove bird feeders and any pet food, clean barbecues after use, and hide garbage cans, and compost bins until garbage day.
So far this year, the Conservation Office has received about three calls about bears, which is an increase. There’s been one call about a bear in Surrey. Calls from communities south of the Fraser River are rare. There are many more bear calls for communities on the other side of the river.
The Conservation Office’s 24-hour hotline is 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or on cellphones dial #7277 to report wildlife.
The Ministry of Environment has the Bear Smart program to help reduce human/bear conflicts.