tofino bear smart - reporting problem bears

Bear Smart myths: Reporting bears in Tofino... and other myths about bears

by Christina Brack & Chrystal McMillan, Tofino

the letter 'M'Myth: Reporting a bear sighting means the bear will be destroyed.

Truth: By reporting a bear sighting in your community to 1-877-952-rapp (7277), you assist the local Conservation Officers and the local Bear Smart Committee with very important information to proactively manage bears in your neighbourhood.

The location of the bear and the bear's concurrent behaviour help to determine the level of potential conflict with regard to human safety.

This important course of action on your part will initiate a concentrated public outreach campaign in the neighbourhood encouraging the removal of all attractants and may initiate non-lethal management strategies to help the bear create a healthy respect and fear of humans.

Yes, every year bears are destroyed due to human-bear conflicts, but as a last measure and always preventable.

Myth: A bungee cord to hold down the lid of a garbage can makes it bear proof.

Truth: "...if it can be dismantled using a crowbar then it is not bear proof." - Bears are incredibly strong and persistent, a bungee cord is no match for a black bear. Store your garbage cans securely in your garage, workshop, or other bear-proof enclosure until garbage pick up day and then place the cans curb side as close to pick up time as possible. For tried and tested bear proof curb side solutions visit,, and "Schaeffer Bins" by Rollins Machinery to view various polycarts that are relatively inexpensive, easily moved and come in different sizes.

Myth: All bears that come into our community are "problem" bears.

Truth: "Problem" bears are made not born. Conditioning to non-natural food sources brings bears into frequent contact with humans and results in a higher chance of human-bear conflicts. Preventative measures such as thoroughly burning off the BBQ grill after each use, removing bird feeders from your property, properly storing garbage in a bear-proof facility or enclosure until pick up day and keeping pet food/dishes indoors will encourage a peaceful co-existence between black bears and humans.

To report any wildlife-human interactions where public safety may be at risk, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.RAPP (7277)

For more information on the Ministry of Environment Bear Smart Community Program or the Bear Smart BC Society please call: Crystal McMillan at 250.266.BEAR (2327).


Christina Brack is a Bear Smart BC Society Volunteer and Crystal McMillan is the Executive Director of the Bear Smart BC Society.

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Tofino Time January 2010

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tofino time january 2010