Residents in Campbell River had an unfamiliar four-legged friend roaming the streets.

Jennifer Tanguay Muir was driving down Birch Street last Thursday when she spotted a black bear cross the road in the 600 block.

She quickly pulled out her phone, captured some footage of the bear, and then posted the video to a public Facebook group.

“I had to warn anyone in their yards working,” Muir says.

She says the bear then took off into someone’s yard. “We drove to an alley behind the houses to see if we could see him again, but we lost him. It was a sight for sure being so close to town,” Muir adds.

According to WildSafeBC, black bears account for 14,000 to 25,000 calls per year to the Conservation Officer Service. They’re omnivorous animals with vegetation making up about 80 per cent of their diet.

Black bears are still very active in much of the province, WildSafe BC says. Now is the critical time of year when natural foods begin to wane and they start prepping for winter. They’re often drawn to human garbage, and fallen fruit in yards. 

“Ensure that bears are not learning to find unnatural foods in your community,” WildSafe says. “This can lead to food-conditioning, a learned behaviour where bears associate people with food. Keep your garbage secure. Also, avoid the temptation to put your bird feeder up too soon.”

To sign up for free bear sighting alerts in your community, sign up for WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program here.