Saanich Police are reporting an out-of-town visitor encountered a black bear on the trails near Hector Road at about 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The encounter took place in a green belt within rural Saanich, an area known to have a variety of wildlife, including bears. Although this individual was startled by the bear and took action to get away, police say they have since learned it did not act aggressive towards human presence.
Const. Matt Cawsey with the Saanich Police issued a release “to advise the community of the encounter and to remind everyone this time of year bears will be active, especially in areas where fresh fruit and berries are readily available. Bears are omnivorous animals with vegetation making up about 80 per cent of their diet. Bears have an extremely good sense of smell and can detect food from over a kilometre away.”
Police advise residents to be bear aware – and stay calm if you do see a bear.
“Carry noise makers and the bear will likely avoid you. Additionally, protect your property by keeping animal foods indoors, and pick fruit, veggies and berries as they ripen, and any fallen fruit from the ground before they can attract bears into the area,” said Cawsey. “Keep garbage and compost unavailable or less appealing to any wildlife who may develop interest.”