Bear spotted near St. Hubertus Winery called a 'sure sign of spring'

Bears starting to wake up

In another sure sign of spring, bears are starting to wake up from their long winter naps.

A social media post on the weekend was intended to let people in the area, including workers, to be bear aware. It alerted residents near St. Hubertus Winery on Lakeshore Road of a bear awake and active.

Andy Gebert, owner and vintner at St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery, tells Castanet, "they're just coming out of hibernation now and slowly starting to make their way around again."

"It's just one of these things, people go for walks and they have no idea how much wildlife is actually around," he continued. "For us, it is part of the balance between nature and farming we love having the bears around. It's always like one of the first signs of spring when you see bears back out again."

The winery makes sure all of its workers are armed with bear spray and they encourage their workers to be bear aware.

"For us we know not to leave anything around the house for example, no dog food outside, no garbage obviously. Because, you know, it would only attract them to to be here and then obviously that will start to cause a problem. Which would be sad, because they have a place here."

Gebert says bears can actually be helpful.

"Besides eating the grapes, obviously, but they will definitely keep the deer away. They will go after rodents for example. So it's a balance in nature and something we want to have."

WildSafeBC has tips on bear awareness and safety here.

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