Bear and cub spotted near Elk Lake in Saanich prompts warning from police

Bear and cub spotted near Elk Lake in Saanich prompts warning from police
Photo: Saanich Police
Saanich Police provided this picture taken in the in the 600-block of Brookleigh Road. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.

Police are asking people to avoid an area of Saanich after one resident reported seeing a bear and its cub on their property this weekend.

The bears were spotted in the 600-block of Brookleigh Road, near Hamsterly Beach and Elk Lake, says Saanich Police in a notice around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21.

While the bears were not observed as being aggressive, police are asking nearby residents to secure their pets and animals and to stay away from the area for the time being.

Saanich Police say the BC Conservation Officer Service (BC COS) is aware.

On its website, the COS has tips on what to do when encountering a bear, including staying calm, keeping away and going indoors, if possible.

According to WildSafeBC, most of B.C. is considered “bear country,” with these animals living in a wide variety of ecosystems. It says black bears account for up to 25,000 calls per year to the BC COS.

“Bears are most active from April to November, but in milder climates, or where they are continuously finding food, bears may not go into their dens,” WildSafeBC, an organization that looks to reduce human-wildlife conflict, says on its website.

“While most bear encounters result in the bear leaving an area, they can become more assertive or destructive when they have learned to associate humans and their activities with food.”

Saanich Police can be reached at 250-475-4321.

READ MORE: Duncan family hopes people learn something after video of bear sleeping under deck goes viral

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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