On Monday night, Port Moody resident Elle Brovold captured a video of two bear cubs wrestling, while a third casually wanders along the side of the road in the Metro Vancouver city.
It’s an adorable video, but also an excellent reminder that it’s time to be “bear aware” again. The rambunctious cubs might be harmless, but it’s very likely a protective mother bear isn’t far away.
There have been numerous bear sightings over the past couple of weeks, as the animals are just starting to wake up from hibernation. The City of Port Moody posted this video to their social media accounts as a reminder. When you’re in a place like Port Moody, you can run into a bear just about anywhere, which is why the city wants to teach people how to co-exist with the creatures, and what they should do if they find one or more in their path, just as this woman did.
The city’s website provides important information on how to avoid attracting bears, including storing garbage and organic waste securely indoors or in a bear-resistant enclosure; freezing food scraps until collection day; only putting out garbage shortly before pickup; cleaning your barbecue and emptying its grease trap after each use; and not using bird feeders if bear visits are frequent.
But these points are more than simply advice: bylaws actually require Port Moody residents to manage bear attractants like these, and cities across the country are starting to follow suit.
Last summer, police in Sudbury, Ontario, received a total of 1,700 bear-related calls, which was more than the previous five years combined. This prompted officials to put a new bylaw in place, which came into effect on April 1. The bylaw requires residents to bring their garbage to the curb between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on garbage day, so it’s not left out overnight.
The hope is that measures like these will keep the bears from coming too close, which can cause them to lose their natural fear of humans. According to Parks Canada, once animals become habituated, they become increasingly aggressive, which can end just as poorly for them as it can for people.