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Letter: Bears live and work here as we do

In response to columnist Kirk LaPointe's call for the ins and outs of West Vancouver, one letter writer says we need to peacefully co-exist with bears instead of fearing them
A tagged black bear rummages through a waste bin in Squamish. Bears that become too accustomed to human-created sources of food in urban areas are often killed by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

Re: Fill Me in on the Quirks and Curiosities of West Vancouver

Dear Editor:

I read Kirk LaPointe’s funny column about living in West Van, but my chuckling stopped when I got to his question about bears.

As a volunteer for the North Shore Black Bear Society, I can tell you how hard our small staff and band of volunteers work to get the word out to the North Shore that our bears are not to be feared, but are calm, peaceful animals that live and work on the North Shore as we do.

Indeed, our bears have good reason to fear their human neighbours as every year far too many of them are killed, either by speeding cars (I’m not sure whether it is Porsches that are responsible), or by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, as punishment for us leaving our garbage, organics and birdfeeders accessible to them.

I invite Kirk and North Shore News readers to have a look through our website. Our message is about peaceful co-existence with these beautiful animals. I believe that misplaced fear of them makes this very difficult to achieve.

Learning about their true nature and behaviours and taking responsibility for ours is the path forward.

Holly Reisner
District of North Vancouver

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