News Views: Don’t feed the bears

A bear was hit by a car while crossing Lougheed Highway near Kanaka Creek on Wednesday.

A bear was hit by a car while crossing Lougheed Highway near Kanaka Creek on Wednesday.

It was last seen limping into a forest off Tamarack Lane.

Neighbours were alerted, as was Kanaka Creek elementary, as an injured bear could be dangerous.

Maple Ridge has a bear aware program now, but it’s difficult to teach a bear that crossing a highway at midday is also dangerous.

While that may be a rare occurrence, bear sightings in Maple Ridge are not. They are often seen in subdivisions in the north, east and south areas of the municipality, even downtown.

That is the reality of living so close to the mountains, in a community laced with fish-bearing streams.

We should be used to it by now, but still conservation officers and RCMP are called about bears eating berries in someone’s backyard or tearing through their garbage.

So in the interest of saving a bruin’s life, we offer a few reminders:

• lock up garbage and recycling, only put outside morning of pickup;

• pick fruit;

• layer composts;

• keep pet dishes inside;

• clean barbeques;

• only use bird feeders in winter;

• don’t bury livestock carcasses on your property;

• store freezers and coolers indoors;

• keep doors and windows closed and locked as cooking smells can lure hungry bears;

• consider electric fencing, or an air horn.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t grow fruit, or have a pet, or cook food, but try to be responsible. Understand that there are bears in urban areas, especially this time of year.

That doesn’t mean they should die.

So, please, don’t feed the bears.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News