Bear sighting in Saanich neighbourhood prompts reminder from police to secure garbage

Bear sighting in Saanich neighbourhood prompts reminder from police to secure garbage
File photo.

Saanich Police are reminding the public to secure garbage after a black bear was spotted in a rural neighbourhood east of Camosun College’s Interurban Campus.

Just before 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, Saanich PD received a report about a bear digging through some garbage in the 300 block of Hector Road.

Animal control officers attended the area and tried to locate the bear but were unsuccessful, according to Saanich PD, and the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) has since been advised.

“As fall is upon us, please remember to secure your garbage and pick up fallen fruit from your trees as this attracts the bears to the area,” reads the release from Saanich police.

READ MORE: Saanich police warn public following bear sighting

Const. Markus Anastasiades with Saanich police said it’s not unusual for bears to be spotted in that area.

“It’s an area where residents are familiar with bear sightings and encounters,” he noted. “Most residents in that area do take the necessary steps to prevent bear encounters.”

It’s the second time this month Saanich PD has been notified about a bear sighting. The first one occurred on Sept. 3, just down the road on Stratford Road.

This is usually the time of year Saanich police start seeing an increase of calls regarding wildlife sightings, Anastasiades added.

Black bears account for 14,000 to 15,000 calls per year to the BCCOS, according to WildSafeBC. They’re most active from April to November.

Garbage is the number one bear attractant in reports to the provincial hotline and WildSafeBC recommends keeping your garbage inside, locked up, or secured until the day of collection.

To report wildlife sightings, call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) conservation officer 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Police issue warning after black bear spotted on trail near Victoria General Hospital

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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