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Bear family photographed in Port Coquitlam tree a public reminder to monitor surroundings

Wildlife photographer Jon Lavoie took a stroll through local woods only to find a mama bear and cub looking down on him.
Bear family in tree in Port Coquitlam - May 26, 2021 JON LAVOIE
A mama bear cuddles her cub while sitting in a Port Coquitlam tree on May 26, 2021.

Even if you're out for a short stroll through a wooded area, you'll want to be aware of all your surroundings.

That may mean looking up every now and then as was the case for Port Coquitlam photographer Jon Lavoie who witnessed a mama black bear cuddling her cub on a branch in a large tree.

Needless to say, the picture itself is very adorable and he tells the Tri-City News there was another cub further up the tree.

However, this encounter also serves as a reminder for the public to be bear-aware as the season shifts to summer in the weeks ahead and the animals make their way into the community.

In the last seven days, there have been 36 black bear sightings reported to WildSafeBC's Wildlife Alert Reporting Program in the Tri-Cities, including 19 in Coquitlam, 12 in Port Moody and five in Port Coquitlam.

Bear sightings - Tri-Cities May 20-27, 2021Bear sightings in the Tri-City region between May 20-27, 2021. By WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program

The organization cites the following notes to keep in mind as bear season continues:

  • Keep your garbage in or secured until the day of collection. Garbage is the number one attractant cited in reports to the provincial hotline
  • Manage your fruit trees
    • Don’t let windfalls accumulate, and pick fruit as it ripens
    • If you don’t want the fruit, consider...
      • Accessing a fruit gleaning group in your community
      • Washing the blossoms off in the spring so the fruit doesn’t set
      • Replacing the tree with a non-fruit bearing variety
  • Don’t put out bird feeders when bears are active
    • A kilo of bird seed has approximately 8,000 calories and is a great reward for a hungry bear
  • Keep your compost working properly with lots of brown materials and a regular schedule of turning
  • If you have livestock or backyard chickens use a properly installed and maintained electric fence to keep bears and livestock apart

Last year, there were more than 2,000 calls to conservation officers about bears in the Tri-Cities, and as many as 15 bears had to be destroyed because of conflicts — mostly because bears got used to eating people's garbage or other attractants, and wouldn't leave.

- with a file from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News