A family of bears that moved into Thetis Lake Regional Park is being monitored by B.C. Conservation Officers.
Conservation has asked the Cowichan Regional District put up signs in high traffic areas, and is asking dog walkers to make sure to keep dogs on leash.
“Off-leash dogs often create situations with bears (especially family groups) and can get seriously injured or create human conflict situations,” B.C. Conservation said in a statement.
Many people who walk the trails are voicing safety concerns.
“Someone talk to us and saw a mama bear and her two cubs on one of the paths. I’m a little nervous. I don’t want to see a bear in real life. [I’ll] keep my distance if I can” said Olivia Reid, a hiker.
Other park users are less concerned about the potential of black bears in the area. Dwayne Johnson runs a local hiking group that visits the park on a weekly basis.
“We are not concerned. Bears are a part of nature. It’s not an issue to us really. We’ve yet to see one in this neighborhood, they would just be passing through,” says Johnson.
Conservation is monitoring the situation and is hoping the bears will move on by themselves, but is continually reassessing.
Anyone who encounters the bears is asked to call the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-7277.