Don’t feed the bears

Do you grow apples, pears and plums? How about cherries, apricots or peaches? Do not feed the bears.

Do you grow apples, pears and plums? How about cherries, apricots or peaches? Do not feed the bears.

Tis the season for bear fattening, now through to winter. Bears will be scrounging for food wherever it may be. And it may be in one may be in your backyard so — do not feed the bears.

Pick the fruit as it ripens and process in your home and dispose of the trimmings in the garbage which you do not leave by the curb or beside your house to feed the bears.

Recently there was the need to destroy a bear family that was foraging for garbage which homeowners conveniently left either at the curb in “raccoon proof” cans, or in their garages with the garage doors open. Hey, if it’s good enough to keep a raccoon out, it’s good enough for bears, right? No, those containers are not good enough to keep raccoons out either.

One man and his son were feeding saltine crackers to a large black bear. The package empty, the dad and son walked back to their car, presumably joyous with conversing with nature. But the bear wasn’t done. He wanted more crackers.

Just as the dad and boy reached their vehicle someone yelled, “Bear!” The dad turned to see the bear loping towards him.

Immediately the dad yanked open the car door, threw his son in and closed the door.

But the dad forgot the window was down. Urgently he fumbled for his car key, stuck it in the ignition, started the car and rolled up the window. As the window wound home, the bear arrived, reared and put his paws on the roof and began clawing, trying to get more saltines.

Dad didn’t think his best move would be to drive away. He sat either terrified or mesmerized, in his vehicle, the bear rocking it back and forth as others watched, either in horror or amusement.

Dad was parked next to the three-metre sign that read, “Do not feed the bears.”

For further suggestions visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/misc/bears/bearsaf.html. Watch for our next column Part Two of Bear Encounters and visit us at www.ruralcrimewatch.com and on Facebook.

Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz are columnists with Rural Crime Watch.

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