News Flash

City News

Posted on: October 20, 2020

Stay Safe and Keep Your Distance from Bears

Urban Wildlife

COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 20, 2020 – They may look cute, but bears are wild animals that require a wide berth – from both people and dogs.

Coquitlam is reminding all trail users and those walking dogs along local trails and outdoor spaces to practise “wildlife distancing” to avoid potentially dangerous confrontations with bears and other wildlife. 

This advice also applies to residents who live near green belts, parks and other areas visited by bears.

Bears are often seen more frequently in the fall as they fatten up for hibernation, and unleashed or out-of-control dogs can provoke defensive behaviour or trigger pursuit. 

Tips for Being Bear Smart this Fall

Follow these tips to avoid dangerous encounters with wildlife this fall:

  • Hike in a group and make lots of noise while on the trail;
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times on local trails and in parks and outdoor spaces (other than dog parks or designated off-leash trails);
  • Never try to antagonize a bear to see what it will do;
  • Stay at least 100 metres away and use binoculars if you wish to view bears or other wildlife;
  • Never approach a bear or try to take a selfie with it;
  • If you see a bear in your yard, take your family and pets inside to safety and then make lots of noise from inside to scare the bear away; and
  • Properly secure your waste carts and bins, and remove wildlife attractants such as bird feeders, garbage, fallen fruit and dirty barbecues.

If you do come across a bear and can’t go inside, do not scream, yell or run away. Instead:

  • Stay calm and go back the way you came; 
  • Talk in a low, calm voice while backing away slowly; 
  • Do not run;
  • Make yourself look big; 
  • Keep your dog leashed and don’t let it chase the bear;
  • Do not linger or approach the bear for photos or to feed it; and
  • Warn other people you encounter while leaving the area.

Report wildlife that is aggressive or causing property damage to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 reporting line at 1-877-952-7277.

To report wildlife attractants such as garbage, improper storage of attractants or wildlife accessing attractants, call the City at 604-927-3500 or email urbanwildlife@coquitlam.ca

For more information about bear safety, visit www.coquitlam.ca/bearsmart.

Media contact:
Caresse Selk
Manager Environment
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3536
CSelk@coquitlam.ca

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