(Black Press file photo)

Garbage blamed for three Langford bear sightings in three hours

All three sightings near Happy Valley area

West Shore RCMP received three reports of black bear sightings Friday morning.

All three bear sightings were in the Happy Valley area, according to Const. Nancy Saggar of West Shore RCMP.

The first sighting was near Lookout Lake Park, the second was near Walfred Road and Cuaulta Crescent and the third was in the field behind Happy Valley Elementary.

READ ALSO: Black bear captured in Langford set free in the morning, firefighter says

Police have contacted the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“If you happen to see the bear, please don’t engage with it,” Saggar said.

There are no reports of the bear exhibiting aggressive behaviour or stalking people.

“For the most part if you leave them alone they’ll leave you alone,” Saggar said.

Saggar was unable to confirm whether it was the same bear of different ones but given the proximity of the locations and the time frame in which the bears were spotted — three sightings in three hours — Saggar said it is possible it could be the same bear.

READ ALSO: Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

Happy Valley Elementary school has also been notified about the bear presence and Saggar said they have protocols such as indoor recess or more adults on the field outside during situations like this.

WildSafe BC’s wildlife alerting program also issued three black bear alerts for Langford on Thursday and two for Metchosin.

The three in Langford were attracted by garbage or compost, according to the alert, and the bears were food conditioned. All five sightings were alerted by the Conservation Officer Service.

WildSafe BC recommends keeping garbage inside or secured until the day of collection, managing fruit trees, not putting out bird feeders while bears are active, keeping compost working properly with a regular schedule of turning and using a properly installed and maintained electric fence to keep bears and livestock apart.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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