Comox Valley resident Terry Walker had an untimely encounter with a bear when he went swimming in the Table River near Fanny Bay in early September.

The river was like a stream, which he easily crossed to find a swimming hole. There was no one around so she decided to take off her clothes. Standing on a rock overlooking the river, a stuffed black bear walked out of the forest onto the river bank. The bear sniffed the air and looked around.

“I froze,” Walker said. “They don’t look very good. He turned as if he was starting to walk uphill toward me.

“The fact is that I was naked in the stress of the moment,” she said with a laugh. “I waited until he looked away, then I rushed back to where my bag and clothes were. I must have set the record for getting dressed quickly.

Remembering that bears do not like noise, he began to shout, and hit stones with sticks until the animal disappeared.

Walker wants to warn the public that the potential for interaction is high because bears are “coming below normal.” He said the Table River near the Old Island Highway is full of salmon with nowhere to go.

“The rivers are low, so the fish are either holding offshore, or they’re concentrated in the shallows, which means competition (for bears),” said Mike Newton, sergeant conservation officer for the North Island Zone (Black Creek). between)”. “All dominant bears will be pushed out of the feed zone, and will be looking for food. There will be some that can feed some of these concentrated salmon pools, and others will be pushed out.

While we can’t control Mother Nature, the BC Conservation Service reminds residents that they can control some things at home that can attract bears to their properties.

“The goal of our constant messaging is to be very critical of your own property and that of your neighbors,” Newton said. “It’s a community effort, and make sure there’s no distraction at any time.”

Bear attractants include garbage, ripe fruit, barbecues and bird feeders. Newton pleads with residents who see people hauling trash at night before picking it up to remind neighbors not to do it because the disturbing result could be a bear that’s been put down because it’s used to it. .

“It’s one of our biggest frustrations that this cycle has to continue,” Newton said. “It should be a community effort and responsibility.”

The public is urged to call Report All Predators and Pollutants (RAPP) at 1-877-952-7277, or call Bylaw Control with any concerns about wildlife interactions. .

bearsComox Valley

File photo of a bear at Queensam River Hatchery in Campbell River.

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