A family of four bears has been spending its summer in and around Hope.
A mother bear and three cubs have been spotted numerous times just doing what bears do. Photos have been shared online for the past few months that show the growth of the cubs through the summer, of them fishing, swimming and walking.
And recently, Pasquale Pascucci was out in the Coquihalla Valley and was also treated to a sighting.
“Very unusual to see three cubs,” he said in an email. “Kept myself hidden and quiet, while our dogs, not smelling or seeing the bears, were quiet, being held by my partner.”
Like others who have seen the quartet of bruins, they found them just acting like bears.
“Mama may have been looking for a good spot to fish salmon with the kids,” Pascucci offered.
The bears seem to not be habituated yet, and spend their days along the river searching for food. Bears and other animals will be trying to fatten up for winter right now, and the sighting is a good reminder to clean up under fruit trees, rinse out garbage cans, and practise other habits outside that don’t encourage bears to seek human foods.
Lydia Koot has worked tirelessly to improve bears’ chances in the Hope area, as part of the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee. She says all of Hope is bear country, and everyone needs to act accordingly.
“We need to not freak out if we see a bear, they really are a part of our beautiful landscape,” she said in a recent social media post. “Of course there will be babies and they are more than cute. They are very playful and in this stage of life still fairly close to mom. But there will be moments, she’ll send them up a tree and will go and eat by herself, before going back to the cubs.”
She offers tips like keeping your dog on a leash; loose dogs are a major cause of human to bear interactions.
She suggests carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it, as well as making noises while walking, and taking a friend along. But, she warns, bear bangers are not safe this time of year as they could start a fire.
Above all, “have respect for this family, all she wants is (to) feed her babies,” Koot said. “She has been seen fishing.”
For more information on living safely with bears in the area, visit wildsafebc.com.
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