Drivers asked to watch out for bears on northwest BC highways

One bear has been hit by a vehicle so far this spring

At least one bear has been hit and fatally injured by a vehicle so far this spring, and conservation officers warn drivers that bears will be out feeding on the edge of the roads for at least another month.

“Right now, there’s lots of greenery like clover and dandelions on the side of the road that lots of bears will be eating,” said Terrace conservation officer Ryan Gordon May 18.

“That’s typical of every spring. They’re up and looking for food.”

A bear out near Chindemash Creek along Hwy 16 was struck by a minivan and iconservation officers found her suffering off the side of the road and had to put her down, he said.

A moose was struck along Hwy 37 South but ran across the highway and disappeared into the bush.

Ryan said if called about an accident like this, officers will go out to have a look to see if the moose is ok but it’s difficult to track them in the bush.

Moose are hit and do survive because they’re pretty tough animals, he added.

Conservation has received several calls about a grizzly sow charging at people to protect her three cubs.

“Mainly they’re out in that [area] eating eel grass on the ocean there, so when folks stop and get out of their vehicles, she gives them a bluff charge to get out of the area,” he said.

Conservation officers are putting up an electric highway sign to warn people not to stop along the side of the road and take any photos if they see a bear.

“We’ll be patrolling and if people stop and take a photograph, they’ll be given a violation ticket,” said Gordon.

He reminds residents that bears have woken up from hibernation and are ravenous and looking for food which can include seeds in bird feeders, compost, to properly store garbage cans inside and to clean food off of barbecues.

Pick cherries and other fruit off the trees as soon as it’s ripened.

And a reminder to anyone if you see an animal that’s been hit on the road, a bear that’s broken into your shed or other wildlife and environmental issues to call the Report a Poacher and Polluter line at 1-877-952-7277.