Black bear spotted in 707 Community Park off Ricki Rd.
A black bear has been spotted on Gabriola again, this time in the 707 Community Park.
Bart Jessup, while on a walk on the Ricki Trail on Tuesday last week, said he saw a small black bear “walking away from me near the high point of the Ricki Trail in the 707 park.
“I’m confident enough of this sighting ... a bear’s shape and waddling gait are pretty unmistakable.”
Bart has notified the provincial conservation office in Nanaimo.
Black bears are extremely mobile. While this sighting was in the central part of the island, the bear is capable of making it to various locations on the island within the same day. In comparison, the annual Gabriola Walking Group walk from Descanso Bay to Silva Bay takes roughly three hours for the human participants to complete.
This past spring, conservation officer Stuart Bates said the Conservation Officer Service received a total of 27 reports for May involving a bear on Gabriola Island. Four of those reports involved garbage, three involved bird feeders and three were for the same incident involving bee hives.
There have been no reports of activities or behaviour that Stuart said would warrant the removal of the bear. He did, through a number of stories and advisements this spring, say that residents are required to make sure that all attractants such as bird seed, bird feeders, livestock feed and garbage (especially food waste green bins) are secured.
Under the BC Wildlife Act Section 33.1, failing to do so is a ticketable offence with a fine of $345.
Putting green bins out at the end of driveways the night before they are picked up was one of the primary concerns Stuart and Regional District of Nanaimo staff had with the bear sightings earlier this year. See the schedule on page 4 of every Sounder edition to know which day to put out green bins.
The RDN Board recently approved funding of $3,000 for a Bear Aware safety program to be included in the RDN’s next annual budget.
According to the Conservation Service biologist, there is enough natural food and space to support up to six black bears on Gabriola.
The previous ‘last sighting’ reported to the conservation office was in mid-June.