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Black Bear

The better we know these neighbours, the

fewer misunderstandings will exist..


The bears we see in Pender Harbour are mainly Black Bears and although colour variations exist, ours are mainly black in colour. They can be up to 225 kilograms and capable to running up to 55 km/hr. They are powerful and able to move large logs boulders and even pry open car doors.  There is so much to learn about Black Bears that we encourage everyone to read up about them and the best place to find that info is as at the SUNSHINE COAST BEAR ALLIANCE website at:


Their mission is to reduce human-bear conflict on our Sunshine Coast by fostering a pragmatic understanding and appreciation of our coast’s bears so that; bears and other wildlife, residents and visitors alike can co-exist safely in our coast community.  And of course a visit to the SPCA will inform even further:

The following article by the Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance appeared in our local Harbour Speil and is an excellent review of bear behaviour in the Spring and how humans can make a positive difference.

How not to kill black bears

Courtesy: Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance

Black bears are inherently timid, highly intelligent and more tolerant of us than we are of them. 


Spring sees the emergence of local bears from their winter dens — adult males leave first while their mothers and cubs usually exit in April. They can be somewhat lethargic and appear thin and a bit scruffy at this time. Natural foods can be scarce so when human food sources are available, bears may be lured into populated neighbourhoods seeking high calorie rewards. 


It is illegal under the British Columbia Wildlife Act to either intentionally or unintentionally feed bears or other wildlife. 


Bears that continue to access human food may be deemed a safety risk by the Conservation Officer Service. Unfortunately, relocation is rarely an effective measure when managing bears that have become accustomed to non-natural food sources. The needless death of the bear can be the end result of what is often referred to as “human-bear conflict,” even though the bear is just doing what they do naturally which is foraging for food.


Garbage, bird feeders and fruit trees are the major attractants. 


Bears have an incredible sense of smell enabling them to detect odours up to a mile away.  It is important to keep garbage secured by only placing it at the curb the morning of pick-up. If you don’t have an enclosed carport, place a Pine-Sol soaked rag in your garbage can to function as a repellent. Do not use bird feeders during bear season (March to December).  Use intermittent plate feeding instead or attract birds with plants and sand baths. Pick fruit just prior to ripening and collect any windfall within one- to two days. 


If you have small livestock, secure within electric fencing. 


Refrain from using outdoor fridges or freezers.


Keep all car doors and windows locked and interior of the vehicle free of any food, food containers, wrappers and scented products. 


Do not leave any pet food or dishes outside.


Hike in pairs or a group and make some noise to let our bears know you are approaching. 

Bear bells don’t identify you as human; instead call out “Hey bear,” or clap your hands loudly. 


If you do encounter a bear, it may stand on its hind legs to better assess the situation. 

Take a deep breath, stay calm, put your arms out to your side (this helps identify you as human), speak in a calm yet firm voice, Slowly back away and give the bear space.


The Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance was established in 2019 with a mission to end human-bear conflict on the Sunshine Coast and to “replace fear with knowledge.” 

For more information on living safely and respectfully with our bears, please go to

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