Beware of bears around Maple Ridge’s Kanaka Creek

Food, water and foilage attracting bruins to wildlife corridor

It’s been a busy bear year at the fish fence at 240th Street and in the trails and tall grasses throughout Kanaka Creek Regional Park.

And in addition to Dufus, the big bear who’s been hanging around for several years, there are about 10 others who seem to be making the creek corridor their play pen.

Ross Davies, with Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, has been regularly photographing the animals and said he’s not sure why there are more bears around this year, only that the creek and the lush vegetation and natural wildlife corridor is a place that will attract bears, along with a possible bear baby boom.

But there’s always been lots of bears along the creek, Davies added.

What better way to cool off than in the creek in Kanaka Creek Regional Park. Ross Davies photos.

What better way to cool off than in the creek in Kanaka Creek Regional Park. Ross Davies photos.

In case you need to be reminded, Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge is bear country. Ross Davies photos.

More bear activity though raises the danger level for people, if they get too close.

Some parts of park have been closed to the public and KEEPS is asking people and Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary students to avoid Kanaka Creek Road.

“We’re continuing to stress if you do encounter (a bear) to move back 100 metres,” Davies said. If you happen to meet one in the woods, just back away slowly and give the animal space and talk in a normal voice, he added.

Spectators keep a healthy distance from bears. Ross Davies photos.

People also are asked to keep off the canary grass flats where bears like to hang out.

There’s no particular place to see the bears, just as long as people keep a 100-metre distance and use a telephoto lens, not a smartphone, if they’re trying to get a photo. The 100-metre distance also applies to people inside vehicles, he added.

It’s an offence under the Wildlife Act to do anything to affect natural bear behaviour, he added.

Davies said previously that wandering into the forest looking for the bears is more likely to result in an unpleasant encounter.

Instead, respect the animal’s space and stick to the trails and roads that are marked for the public’s use.

Davies, who has many years of experience working with the animals and knows the bears in the area, said that even he won’t venture into their habitat for any reason.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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