Public warned to be on alert after several bear sightings; latest at Ten Mile Point

Saanich police have warned the public to be careful and aware of their surroundings after at least four reports of bear sightings in the last 24 hours.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, a bear was spotted on Wolsey Place in Saanich’s Ten Mile Point area. The bear was last seen heading into Konukson Park. Police and animal control are in the area.

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The B.C. Conservation Society has also been notified, said Saanich police Sgt. Damian Kowalewich. He reminded residents to keep all food items, including bird seed, inside.

“With four bear sightings in the last 24 hours, all residents of Saanich and Greater Victoria should be aware of their surroundings at all times. Do not approach a bear. Go to a safe place and report the sighting,” said Kowalewich.

On Tuesday evening, a bear was seen walking on the sidewalk on McKenzie Avenue near Saanich Road. Saanich police also received a report of the bear in the Lakehill-Morris Drive area, said Kowalewich.

Another bear was spotted early Tuesday in the area of Dysart and Gorge Road West. A bear was also seen in View Royal on Monday.

On Monday, the conservation service euthanized a black bear in Langford, saying it had become habituated to eating garbage and was indifferent to people.

Conservation officer Scott Norris said the bear, about three years old, was found near Millstream Road and Treanor Avenue. He said there were several calls Monday as the bear went from garbage bin to garbage bin.

Norris said garbage-habituated bears are not relocated, and a number of things were considered in euthanizing it, including the fact it was in a populated area and posed a threat to the public.

The case shows the importance of securing garbage, Norris said. Not doing so can result in a $230 fine. Garbage should be in a shed or a garage, or have a lid that locks, Norris said.

The bear was not the same one seen in View Royal on Monday, Norris said.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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