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Black bear takes a dip in West Van backyard pond

A cool dip and a chilled snack. This bear knows how to deal with the heat.
West Van bear - Myron Claridge web
A black bear swims in a West Vancouver backyard fish pond and eats some water lilies, on Aug. 11, 2022.

Everybody knows, on a hot day, there’s nothing like a cool dip and a chilled snack to bring some comfort.

West Vancouver resident Myron Claridge snapped photos of a local black bear doing just that near his Westport Road backyard, Thursday (Aug. 12).

The bear had been munching on blackberries near the rail line and in the neighbour’s yard “before coming back and deciding he would go for a dip in our fish pond and fill his face with the lily flowers and a pot of lilies,” Claridge said in an email to the North Shore News. “Ain’t nature wonderful.”

It’s been a busy summer for bear sightings on the North Shore, said Christine Miller with the North Shore Black Bear Society, which means it’s been a busy summer for the society’s volunteers going out to canvass hot spots in hopes of getting people informed before it’s too late for the bruins.

“Some of them are quite comfortable around people. They've obviously visited before and got food from garbage containers and birdfeeders,” Miller said. “That suits some people and alarms others. Our education program is pretty robust and having to fulfill lots of needs in the community.”

Thankfully, there have not been many serious problems to report, Miller said.

So far this summer, two bears have been killed after being struck by drivers on Highway 1. Last month, conservation officers shot a bear after it entered a home in West Vancouver and began eating frozen food out of the freezer, Miller said, and she’s aware of two that had been killed in Lions Bay. In the summer of 2021, seven bears were killed on the North Shore in July alone.

One problem that has been coming up a lot this summer is people putting food scraps in with their garbage in the District of North Vancouver. Those should be going into organics carts, which are lockable and get picked up earlier in the day.

“The bears will go to a cul-de-sac or street on garbage day, and they just knock them all down, and they just feast,” she said.

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