-by Debbie Read, Coordinator, WildWise Sooke
Wild Wise Sooke is an educational program. Our goals are twofold: to keep wildlife wild, and to keep our community safe. We promote and teach coexistence, primarily through attraction management. As we live in a community that shares the landscape with wildlife, we must learn to coexist!
So what can people do to help keep bears away?
The best advice is to keep all garbage securely stored in doors. Walk around your property to ensure you have nothing that is an attractant: smelly stuff, bird seed, dog food or any other kind of animal feed. Other bear attractants include compost and barbecues.
Wild Wise Sooke recommends that residents — particularly those who live in problem areas — use electric fencing to protect livestock and chickens. Use bird feeders only in the winter months, feed pets indoors, and make sure barbecues are kept clean and odour free. Never should garbage be left outdoors.
Why? If bear access these attractions they become habituated!
Before this program started, many bears were destroyed in Sooke and that number in the last six years has dropped by 75%. Education works: There has definitely been some measurable improvements with this program.
Relocation is not successful and it’s often an inhumane approach to wildlife management
According to conversations we’ve had with the conservation officers, “These bears are euthanized due to habituation. The chronic problems we have with bears in this area are caused by poor garbage management, access to bird seed, livestock and chickens, fruit trees and compost. This is on the community 100%.”
If you have a bear in your space the first thing to do is ask yourself “What am I doing to attract this bear.” Second is to contact Wild Wise Sooke. We will assist you in identifying attractions, and help you to better manage them.
We are an educational program ! Sooke can learn to co-exist with wildlife! Be Bear Wise.
- The importance of properly storing garbage: be bear wise!
- Understanding (and avoiding) bear habituation, so no bears have to die
- Wild Wise Sooke: Bears out in Sooke, full force!
- Sooke man chases bear away from the safe side of the window (video)
- Increased bear sightings, what you need to know, and how to keep bears alive
- Bear sightings at Potholes, between parking lots 3 and 2
- How bears communicate (Video)
- A sure sign of spring for residents of Sooke is the return of bears.
- Bear in Area signs emerge from hibernation
- Bear conflicts are on the rise
- Recent bear sightings in Sooke
- Wild Wise Sooke sees wildlife management improvements in Sooke
- Wild Wise Sooke’s education program has reduced bear kills by 75% in the last six years
- Wild Wise Sooke reminds SUNRIVER residents to store garbage indoors and manage attractions
- Reminder from Wild Wise Sooke: Bears are emerging from the hills
- Be bear-wise in Sooke: Bear-proof your yard
- First bear destroyed, Wild Wise Sooke urges education
- Be Bear Wise: Wild Wise Sooke suggests spring cleaning, minimize attractants
- Good to Know: How to deal with a surprise encounter with a black bear
- Bear sightings are up in Sooke
- Bear killed near Francis Gardens in Sooke
- Living harmoniously with wild life in Sooke is the primary objective of the newly established “Wild Wise Sooke”