A Family Friendly Event At SEAPARC, Sunday, May 15, Noon to 3 p.m.
Sooke is one of western Canada’s leading black bear hot spots. Sharing the land with Ursus americanus is both a thrill and a blessing that brings with it responsibilities on our part to practice bear-wise lifestyles ensuring safe co-existence with these magnificent wild creatures.
Continuing its education campaign as a new season heats up, Wild Wise Sooke is presenting the first Sooke Bear Day at SEAPARC on Sunday, May 15 from Noon to 3 p.m. Wild Wise coordinator Debbie Read and BC Conservation Officers will present talks and field questions. Displays, kid-friendly activities and information on bear-smart strategies for homeowners (i.e., electric fencing for backyard chicken coops) is also planned. Food and drink will be available from the Sooke Harbourside Lions.
Read will kick things off at noon with the first of her three discussions about how residents can best ensure that black bears stay wild and Sooke neighbourhoods safe. As Deb will explain, poor household garbage storage is by far the top reason bears stop their traditional foraging routines and instead seek tastier, quick-fix calorie boosts from trash cans, compost bins, pet-food storage, birdfeeders and barbeques.
BC Conservation Officers will step up from 1 to 2 p.m. to offer insights into the rewarding, successful yet often challenging realities of life on the front lines of wildlife management in this corner of Vancouver Island. Talking points will include the roles and responsibilities of conservation officers; popular misconceptions about wildlife in Sooke; how and when to report bear and cougar sightings via the RAPP line; local and provincial laws and procedures for wildlife conflicts; safety tips when confronted by wild animals; and the complicated, emotionally charged process of dealing with fully habituated problem bears.
Wild Wise Sooke was launched last year under the auspices of the Sooke Transition Town Society (aka Transition Sooke) with full support from the District of Sooke. Focusing on the Sooke region, it continues the remarkably effective work Read began with the provincial Bear Aware program in 2012 to deal with the disturbingly large number of local garbage-habituated bears. She regularly speaks with community groups and at Sooke schools while also working with the District’s bylaw enforcement team to curb problems as they arise on a case-by-case basis.
For more information: