Faced with the most Canadian of problems, a Vancouver Island man found the most Canadian of solutions. Jordan Cote was supposed to be on his way to work one morning last week when he found something in his backyard that made things a little difficult: a mother black bear and her two cubs. Instead of panicking, Cote displayed impeccable manners. He didn’t pull out the bear spray, but instead, politely asked for the bears to move along — and, surprisingly, they complied.
Cote was alerted to the bears’ presence by his tenant’s dog barking. He went outside to see what the commotion was about and saw the bears in the yard directly below. “I didn’t even realize what was going on until I walked around the corner and the two cubs were attached to the mama bear’s leg,” Cote told CTV News. “[The dog] didn’t leave the deck area and the bears never approached her. They kept their distance.”
Recognizing that the bears were passing through and were not aggressive, Cote took out his camera to film them. He then asked them, respectfully but firmly, to move along. “I need you guys to go,” he can be heard saying on the video. When they turn to leave the yard, he calls out a few parting words: “Thank you. Hope you enjoyed my yard. Have a good day!”
The video was posted on the “Meanwhile in Sooke” Facebook group and quickly went viral, commenters applauding Cote for his cool-headedness in a potentially harrowing situation.
Of course, not all bear encounters can be handled with a please and a thank you, but Cote does believe his overall cool demeanour helped keep the bears calm as well.
“The whole encounter is so casual. I’m like, this is Canada,” he told CTV. “If you remain calm, the bear remains calm. We all can co-exist.”
Cote said he had never seen bears in his yard before, but he hopes that any future encounters will be equally respectful.