Bear chowing down on apples creates a frenzy in Crofton

Bear chowing down on apples creates a frenzy in Crofton

People stopping to take photos results in a traffic jam

‘Tis the season when people need to be bear aware.

A bear in the Crofton area caused quite a stir on the weekend at the Crofton Road entrance to town. People were stopping to take pictures and creating a dangerous traffic jam.

Police attended on a couple of occasions and contacted conservation officials, but no further action was taken.

The bear was sitting in a tree within a field area, eating applies, and seemed unfazed by the crowd. It was not displaying any aggressive behaviour, but people were warned to stay well clear just in case.

The bear was around both Saturday and Sunday, and showed up again on Monday morning.

“It would be nice if the public would stay away from him, let him fill his belly and go into hibernation,” advised North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Krista Hobday.

“We definitely don’t encourage people to crowd around and get close to bears at any time,” said Scott Norris, a conservation officer in Duncan.

The bear has so far stayed in an uninhabitated area and away from nearby residences. Once bears stray into a neighbourhood and deemed to be a danger to the public, they’re often put down.

“We’re hoping that doesn’t happen so the bear stays wild and it moves on naturally,” Norris explained. “We’re just monitoring it for now, no aggressive behaviour or anything.”

Norris said residents must take steps to avoid enticing bears into any neighbourhoods.

“People need to ensure they lock their garbage away,” he stressed.

A beer was also sighted on Friday in the Creegan Drive area of Chemainus.