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Letter: Bears vs. people or people helping bears? Port Moody resident poses the question — and a suggestion

The writer believes there are ways humans can care for the animals so they don't resort to snooping through neighbourhood trash cans.
black bear getty images
Black bear in a field. | Getty Images

The Editor:

For many years, bears and humans could live side by side, with very little negative interaction.

This has changed because we humans have wilfully destroyed their habitat, damaged the environment and wasted resources that could have provided for them and for other wildlife in our areas.

This past year, because of global warming (human caused) we faced drought in an area that had formerly been classified as temperate rainforest.

Therefore the berries and fruits that the bears would have had to feed them and carry them through the winter dried on the vines. Hence, they didn't have enough food to begin a long hibernation and the warm spell that we have experienced in the middle of winter woke them from sleep this winter to yet another time of no food.

We are the animals with food, so they must seek out our neighbourhoods and our garbage.

Daily, in supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants literally tonnes of food are thrown into composters or garbage bins. All of this is food.

If we could collect all that food and drop it into the forest centres, the bears, cougars, bobcats and coyotes would not have to visit our neighbourhoods looking for scraps from the garbage cans.

They would not be under threat from our "conservation" officers, and maybe those conservation officers could actually be involved in a real way in conserving the animals that they have now to either control or kill. I am sure this would make their work far more meaningful and much more along the lines of how they envisioned it to be when they opted for the career.

Daily helicopters take to the sky to monitor traffic... a necessary task, given the number of cars on the road.

Why could they not pass over the forest and drop food? There could be a contest to guess where the drop of the day would be.

Likewise, from the small airport in Pitt Meadows, student pilots and instructors practise daily flying up into the sky. They too, pass over forests and green spaces and could drop "gifts" for the animals that live there.

"Darrell" from Save-On-foods could donate the spoiled food from his stores. Someone from Loblaws and Walmart could do the same thing. The conservation officers could do food pick up and four wheel it out into the forest to feed the animals. All the restaurants are required to put food scraps into compostable bags, so they would just have to have it picked up and brought somewhere for pick up.

People in soup lines, rather than standing aimlessly waiting for a bowl or meal could separate food from packaging while they wait, recycling what can be recycled and saving the food parts.

There could be a running tab on who helps the most and the people in the lines could find meaning in doing something highly worthwhile. I am sure with creative thinking, we could all contribute rather than complaining about the wonders of nature that we moved to the suburbs to enjoy.

I guess the bottom line is, we have it in our power to turn this situation around and have our conservation officers and ourselves and corporations involved in conserving the amazing animals and habitat that we share. I hope someone who has the resources and access to others with such resources can figure out a creative solution that does not involve simply murdering the animals. I am sure we have seen enough of death with the whole Covid situation that it would be an inspiration to grab hold of life (and not just human life) and cherish it.
Sincerely yours,

- Denise Grieve, Port Moody