Skip to content

Port Coquitlam residents capture images of corpulent bruins during 'Fat Bear Week'

Fat Bear Week was popularized by a U.S. conservancy group that monitors bears in Alaska — but monitoring black bears and noting how big they get is popular on social media even in the Tri-Cities

It’s Fat Bear Week.

And Port Coquitlam residents are responding with their photos of big bruins — with spectacularly large butts.

This week people are being asked to be hyper-aware of their neighbourhood bear family and to make sure there is nothing in their yard to eat.

Port Coquitlam’s Rick Longworth is a prolific photographer of wildlife, and he’s been capturing photos of big bruins in his backyard.

“It’s amazing how fast these beauties grow,” Longworth wrote on the Port Coquitlam Community Facebook Page this week.

So.... what is Fat Bear Week?

According to the Washington Post, the arrival of Fat Bear Week marks “a joyous occasion on the internet.”

“It’s a welcome distraction from life’s woes. It’s a time to appreciate nature.”

Fat Bear Week is actually a “tournament’ running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 between brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve that are fattening up for winter.

Fans are encouraged to vote for which bears win the title of "Fattest Bear on Fat Bear Tuesday."

However, the University of British Columbia's faculty of Forestry Wildlife Coexistence Lab published images of its own fat bears on Sept. 29, which was were published on the Tri-City News website.

The bruins were photographed on wildlife cams in Golden Ears Provincial Park and the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest. 

Bears typically fatten up during a period of hyperphagia when they eat and drink in preparation for hibernation.

Black bears with unlimited food and water can eat as much as 15,000 to 20,000 kcal per day and drink several gallons, according to North American Bear Centre.

In the Tri-Cities, bears have been spotted on trails and in backyards as they search out food. The concern is they might be drawn to backyard attractants, such as windfall fruit, bird seed and food waste.

In Port Coquitlam, amateur photographers are capturing images of super fat bears while security cameras are spotting them wandering through yards and garages.

In one exceptional case, a bruin was spotted checking out a garbage and walking away after finding it locked.

Sill, there have been a few problems.

According to the City of Port Coquitlam, A total of 41 waste bylaw tickets were issued from Jan 1 – Oct 1, 2021, 21 of those that were given out were for not securing their bins to deter wildlife attractants.

However, "The majority of our residents acknowledge their responsibility and are doing everything they can to mitigate the attractants," a city spokesperson stated in an email to the Tri-City News.

 Port Coquitlam reminds residents to: 

  • secure carts in an enclosure such as a garage or shed.
  • Use locking mechanism to secure cart though this is NOT bear proof but bear resistant
  • Frequently wash garbage and green carts with a strong-smelling disinfectant, such as bleach
  • Freeze food waste or items that smell.
  • Remove fruit, vegetables and berries from gardens when ripe
  • Remove bird feeders and outside pet foods
  • Keep bbq’s clean
  • Natural food sources for bears continue to disappear so it is our highest priority to continue to assist our residents to effectively manage their waste