More bear sightings cause school lockdowns this season

In recent weeks, bear sightings have prompted schools lockdowns in Fort St. James.

  • Oct. 19, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Students at David Hoy Elementary School get ready for a normal school day

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Bears, bears and more bears.

In recent weeks, bear sightings have prompted schools lockdowns in Fort St. James.

But, why so many more sightings this year as compared to others?

Dave Bakker from the Northern Bear Awareness Society says that there is no such thing as an overfed bear and when it comes to finding food, if hungry, they will keep foraging regardless of location.

“There are many reasons why,” Bakker said. “If there are insecure unnatural attractants around, bears will find it.”

“Environmental issues also play a huge role. Lack of berries, lack of natural food crops, droughts and areas that have been affected by fire will definitely cause more conflicts as well.”

Bears need to gain 30% of their weight in fat before hibernation.

“And they will keep foraging before they go down for the winter,” Bakker said.

Bakker recalls 85 bears being destroyed in the Prince George area in 2010.

“Once animals have entered these areas, they are considered to be habituated. So, they are usually destroyed. It’s proven that once this happens, relocation will not work and bears will have only a 30% chance of survival,” Bakker said.

Bakker also says that once a bear is taken out of an area where she has been accustomed and knows the food sources, she will struggle to survive in a new environment.

“There will be new food sources and the bear will also have to fight against another bear who has already claimed that territory,” Bakker said.

According to the Conservation Officer Services, if you see a bear in your community, remain calm. Often, the bear is just passing through. Keep away from the bear, bring children and pets indoors and notify neighbors.

If the bear is being threatening, persistent or aggressive, contact the Conservation Officer Services at: 1-877-952-RAPP (7277)

For more information about how to eliminate bear attractants and how to be more bear aware, visit:


Just Posted

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Column: condition of cows after winter feeding

The protein content of winter feed is important, says rancher David Zirnhelt

Concept designs for Vanderhoof’s new CNC campus unveiled

Community was invited to provide feedback at a public engagement session Dec. 6

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read