In today’s post, I’m taking a cue from Ju-Lyn and Brian to reflect on The Changing Seasons. In my part of the world, the seasons have literally changed from Spring to Summer and in this post, I’ll scope my reflections to that 🙂
June was my first full month on Vancouver Island and the Pacific air has been refreshing after the long winter in Toronto. British Columbia has had an unusually cold and wet Spring but finally in late June, warm and sunny days heralded the beginning of Summer.
A longer Spring has had an effect on vegetation and wildlife. I missed seeing the red and blue berries that should’ve lined my walks through the forest. Berries are an essential part of the black bear diet and I wonder what else have they been eating.
News reports say that more bears have been venturing into human territory looking for food. In Whistler Village (a mountain resort area on the mainland) a TikTok video on June 20, showed a black bear casually strolling through a crowded main street, presumably in search of ice cream.
While the video is amusing to watch, it is not reporting a good thing. Bears who are habituated to people begin to associate food with them.
“(When bears) … lose their fear of people … there’s only one outcome for a bear” Generally, that outcome is a death sentence.– B.C Conservation Officers Service
In my little town there used to be regular reports of black bear sightings. In previous years, I’d get hourly notifications if a bear was seen on the streets close to my home. This year it’s been quiet.
Why? I suspect it’s to do with the number of bears killed last year.
According to this report 11 bears were put down in 2021, after an unusually high number of them broke into structures storing garbage. In May, there was public outcry when people learned that 77 young bears were euthanized by Tofino conservation officers in 2021.
Nobody wants to be responsible for a dead bear. “A reported bear is a dead bear” someone said.
So maybe folks have stopped reporting bears.
Maybe too, people have finally learned to secure garbage in bear-proofed containers. Unsecured garbage is the #1 attractant for bears in communities. If there’s no food to be found, they’ll hunt in the wild.
In any event, the only bears I’ve seen this year, have been on drives through the mountain pass.
This big fella was half way across the road when he saw our car-lights approaching. We slowed down to give him time to re-consider. With a lumbering turn, he ambled off the road and back into the safety of the woods.