Numerous bear sightings in Grand Forks

It is the time of year when bears prepare for hibernation and officials warn people in Grand Forks to be bear aware.

This is the time of year when bears prepare to hibernate.

Bob Smith, owner of What About Bob’s Furniture, said he’s seen more bears this year than in previous years.

“I came home from work at 5 p.m. and this big brown bear was in my front yard,” Smith said of an experience that happened recently.

“I jumped out of my truck and ran at him hollering and screaming and he took off down the street.”

However, this was not the first time Smith had seen bears.

“The next night, I was in Vancouver but my wife phoned me and there were two bears, a brown and a black. Again, she phoned animal control and no one showed up.”

Smith is also concerned about local children playing outside.

“I’ve got my two girls, there’s two kids behind my house and there’s one across the street and a lot of other kids come to visit all the time. It’s just bloody scary.”

Smith has informed neighbours to refrain from putting garbage out until the next day.

“They’ve been putting it out at night and then of course the bears smell it and rip the bags up, so they’re creating their own disaster,” he said.

Grand Forks RCMP Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison agreed and would like to remind residents that at this time of year bears come into town to collect whatever they can before they get ready to hibernate for the winter.

“Please clean up around your fruit trees and gardens and don’t leave garbage out because it’s an attractant,” explained Harrison.

“It also causes the bears to be habitualized and when that happens, it becomes a real problem because they have no fear of humans.”

He warned, “Human-bear contact is obviously dangerous.”

“We have a real problem with bears around town and (Conservation Officer Dave Webster) has been busy as heck with that,” said Harrison.

“We’ve attended several calls with bears in peoples’ yards and in front of peoples’ front doors. As a matter of fact, over the weekend there was one outside the detachment and the members had to chase it away.”

Despite several calls to animal conservation, Smith pointed out the officer did not come to his home and is frustrated by the lack of presence.

Webster was contacted by The Gazette but had not responded as of press time because he was out in the field.