Saturday, 16 August 2008

There's Rabbit And Piglet And There's Owl, But Most Of All Winnie The Pooh

Last night we went to Shawn's brother's house to check out his new reno (and sit in his backyard and drink beer. Oh suburbia, how I love you and your wide open spaces.) Shawn's brother lives on a main-ish street that has a lot of small cul-de-sacs off it. We were driving past one of these cul-de-sacs when I noticed a bear in one of the gardens. Not a cute little garden gnome-ish type bear, but a huge mutha black bear. So we pull over and watch it amble through the flower beds, wondering what to do. We couldn't just leave - what if someone came out of their house and startled the bear? What if the bear felt threatened? We decided to call 9-1-1.

The 9-1-1 dispatcher put me through to the Police dispatcher who was completely unimpressed with the fact that there was a bear! in someone's garden! send in the troops!

After discerning that I was not in the immediate vicinity of the bear (seriously, if you had a bear breathing down your neck, would you a: call 9-1-1 or b: run the fuck away?) she asked if the bear seemed aggressive (how am I qualified to answer that? Who am I to determine how the bear is feeling? I just found the bear, I didn't ask how it's doing) or if anyone was chasing the bear (I know, right? Chasing the bear. Who would do that? Moose tits, that's who!) I told her that no, the bear was happily munching away on something in the garden and no-one was chasing it. She then gives me the phone number for the conservation office and tells me that unless the bear is harming a person or is being harmed by a person, the police don't do anything. Which just seems wrong. I mean, it's a BEAR. In a GARDEN. Down the street from an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. But it's not a police matter because there has been no blood shed. Blows my mind.

So I call the conservation office. The man I spoke to told me that all they do is record the date, time and neighbourhood information for their statistics, unless the bear is harming a person. In which case I should call the police.

It's a tough one - on one hand I feel like when you build houses on a mountain, in wooded areas, you deserve to have bears eating your petunias. On the other hand, I feel like there needs to be some sort of agency to deal with incidents like this. It's not safe to have bears in neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods aren't going to disappear (and hopefully neither will the bears) so someone needs to be able to protect the people in the neighbourhoods. Just last week in Coquitlam there was a woman gardening and she got mauled by a black bear. It would be interesting to know if anyone had called the police with any bear sightings in her neighbourhood that day.


  1. Your right, it is a risk people take living in the country/mountains, just don't piss them off, it's safer that way.

  2. If someone decided to run away from a black bear i'd watch and laugh as the dummy got mauled.

    If you're in bear country you learn about bears. End of story.

    The cops are correct in this matter - it's just an animal trying to get on. The likely hood of getting hurt by a black bear is very very low - but increases each year that we encroach on it's territory and take away its food for our own damned mcmansion suburbia utopia.

    I say if a bear eats a human, the bear deserved the meal. It's our own damned fault.

  3. maybe it's because i DON'T live in a very bear-y area, but.. uh.. i'm kinda with you on this one. bears + houses + elementary schools = BAD MIX. dear authorities: a little help...??

  4. what is a reno? am i an idiot? don't answer question number 2.

    i always worry in situations like these that some agency will come in and kill the bear for doing what bears do - lumber around and eat plants.

  5. I 2nd Jess' question---what the heck is a reno? Also, Moose Tits. Moose tits....awesome.

    In the US we have animal control---where they do this thing called CONTROLLING THE ANIMALS. They simply gently sedate them (in a Peta-approved way, I'm sure) and put them back where they should be. i.e. NOT in a garden. That's just nuts that they don't do something until the animal attacks someone. And it's not like you were calling about a pissed off squirrel--it's a friggin' BEAR.

  6. Heh. Reno = renovation. STORY OF MY LIFE.

    I hear you on the debate. We deal with bears and wild horses...but we live in the sticks. Can't get TOO mad, I guess.

  7. I carry 2 pounds of raw meat with me at all times for just that very reason...I'll feed the bear. Gain its trust. Then he won't eat me, just merely robbers and bastards.

  8. Oh, and a Reno is a car...and a city. But mostly a car...unless im confused

  9. Now that really sucks. Because that's so REactive and not PROactive. And it's so true in so many situations (domestic violence, child abuse, etc.) ... but it still just sucks.

    We had a coyote walk into a sandwich shop in downtown Chicago last summer. He cozied up in the cooler and wasn't hurting anyone. Animal control still came out to get him and take him away (to a rehab facility). Same thing happened years ago when a deer ended up in my aunt's backyard.

  10. Jess: Reno = renovation.

    Over-Thinker: I know, right? I was practically hyperventilating on the phone and they were all "meh" about it.