There’s a bear in my yard!

What to do when you see a bear in your yard:

  1. If you, members of your family or pets are outside, move slowly and quietly inside. Do not turn your back to the bear, but do not make eye contact either.
  2. Telephone your neighbours and advise them that a bear is in the area.
  3. Sit back and wait. If the bear has no reason to stay, it should soon leave.
  4. Please call the Conservation Officer Service to report the bear sighting.
  5. If the bear does not leave within an hour or so, becomes aggressive, or attempts to enter your residence, you should immediately call the Conservation Officer (1-877-952-7277) and RCMP (250-837-5255).

Black bear eating garbage, 2010

Once the bear is gone, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why was the bear in my yard? What attracted it here? See our list of bear attractants and suggestions for handling them.
  2. Remove all attractants. Our Bear Aware Coordinator can help with suggestions and tips.
  3. Ensure there are easy paths of escape for any wild animal that may enter your yard. If you have large areas of unruly bush that may provide cover, consider removing them.

Bears are fascinating to watch; however, we must ensure they are not rewarded with food when they visit us. A bear who finds food will return, becoming bolder and more curious. By leaving attractants on your property, you are putting the bears, yourself, your family, and your neighbours at risk.

Under the Wildlife Act, it is unlawful to provide food to wild animals, either purposely or by neglect. If you do not remove food sources, you may be facing as much as $15,000.00 in fines.

Black bear eating birdseed. Photo: Noleen Mostert 2010