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VIDEO: Bears beat the heat — and each other playfully — in Coquitlam waters

The two youths were seen beating the heat in Deboville Slough in late July 2021; wildlife group continues to remind residents to be bear aware in months ahead.

Though not as dreadful as the heat dome, the last week of July saw temperatures reach into the high 30s across the Tri-Cities.

While residents found ways to stay hydrated, some local wildlife took advantage of Coquitlam waters to cool off and have a little bit of fun too.

Dženan Jauzović was walking through Deboville Slough when he took notice of a pair of bear cubs play-wrestling in the Pitt River channel.

After taking a few swings and nipping at each other, to the entertainment of some passersby, the youths then submerged into the water to relax and enjoy the day.

The wetland area is located about halfway along the four-kilometre north dyke trail off Cedar Drive that's managed by the city of Coquitlam and also runs in conjunction with the Trans Canada Trail.

Black bears are known to make seasonal appearances on the path, in which joggers, cyclists, walkers and horseback riders have cooperated with local wildlife so everyone can enjoy Deboville's nature.


WildSafeBC says there were more bear sightings across Coquitlam in July compared to the same month last year.

The provincial organization's Wildlife Alert Reporting Program has recorded 181 known bear encounters — grizzly or black bear — across the city, only 10 more than the 171 recorded in July 2020, representing a modest increase of 6%.

However, last month's total is a 34% decrease in comparison to June bear sightings as WildSafeBC accumulated 273.

The Tri-Cities as a whole reported 327 bear sightings in July 2021, which is actually a decrease of almost 10% from 2020. 

Residents are encouraged to consider the following tips in areas where bears may frequent:

  • 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

The public is also being reminded to check all of your surroundings when out in the backcountry as bears are known to hang out in trees.

Bear encounters - WildSafeBC July 2021Nearly 330 known bear sightings were reported in the Tri-City region for July 2021. By WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program