Bears in the woods


Black bears on Vancouver Island are a blacker colour and slightly larger than black bears on the mainland. Long been separated from other species of black bear in British Columbia. It is thought that the black bear reinhabited Vancouver island as the glaciers retreated. Skeletons found in caves on the island indicated that the bears have been on the island for 10.000 years and were bigger than the bears today. The isolation on the island most likely led to the size different from bears on the mainland. The black bear is the smallest of the bears in Canada with both the grizzly and polar bear being bigger.


Encountering a bear while on a hike can be an emotional experience, always remain calm and don’t make any quick or threatening moves. You don’t want to look like prey or challenging the bear. Any animal can have a bad day and you could get attacked, be it a cat, dog, or bear. Hikers must remember to keep there cool and respect for the bear. If there is a distance between you and the bear, for example, a bear cross your path in the distance, give the bear time to move on before you make some noise as you proceed cautiously. If the bear has climbed a tree, retreat and make a large circle around the area of the bear or hike a different trail.


The bear bell is in question as to its effectiveness in alerting bears to your or your pets present in the area. The bear may not make the connection that the bell noise means beware. When the pet is off leash and meets up with a bear, the pet can lead the bear right to you which could be dangerous for you.  This is a reason that pet are asked to be on a leash in parks.