Black bear on rocks

Photo Credit: Kimon Berlin

Protect Bears – Sooke Wildlife Group Opens a Chapter in Campbell River

Prepare for bears!

It’s spring so the bears are out, and they’re hungry

Bears are smart and constantly hungry. So once they figure out where your garbage is, they’ll treat it like their new buffet.

That’s part of why a Sooke group called Wild Wise is opening a chapter in Campbell River.

Sam Webb started Wild Wise. He told Campbell River City Council “[w]e get reports, whether from social media, conservation officers, local bylaw, district officials, letting us know about wildlife interactions that are happening in the community. At this time of the year, it tends to have a lot to do with bears.”

Wild Wise teaches people how to avoid bad interactions with bears. They make “Bear in Area” signs and go door-to-door with information on how to keep bears out of your yard.

In non-COVID times, they run school programs for kids. They won’t come to your house if you find a bear on the lawn like a Conservation Officer, but they’ll teach you and your kids about how to handle bears and other wildlife that live in the region.

Lorna Seldon Burd is now opening a Wild Wise chapter in Campbell River.

City Councillor Charlie Cornfield said “[i]t’s nice to have people come to us proposing solutions to problems that are proactive, rather than the negative side: the ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’ kind of approach, so that’s appreciated.”

Wild Wise will also be working with the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) and the Pacific Salmon Foundation to teach people about other types of wildlife.

The Campbell River chapter doesn’t have its own website yet, but you can check out Sooke’s Wild Wise Facebook group for more information.