Large black bear feasts on fruit along Bellevue Creek

Big bear hangs out

A very healthy looking black bear was hanging out along Bellevue Creek in the North Mission area of Kelowna Saturday.

John Van Andel shared a couple of photos of the large bear he says was foraging in the greenspace for most of the day before wandering off. At one point the big bruin climbed up a tree.

“We saw him first thing in the morning when it was nice and quiet. As people started waking up Saturday morning, then he climbed the tree because it was getting kind of loud in the neighbourhoood,” explained Van Andel.

“He hung out in the tree for a while. He slowly came down and he just harboured in the same spot for a while and then he went back to foraging. Then late last night he got up and left.”

The resident of Varney Court says his property backs onto the creek but this is only the second bear he has noticed foraging in the area. The last one was 10 years ago.

Van Andel believes the bears are attracted by the berries and fruit trees in homeowners' yards. He says the bear "devoured" the berries and fruit before moving on. He hopes it doesn't wander into a busier area of the city.

Last week the Regional District of Central Okanagan sent out a public service announcement advising the public to expect more evidence of bear activity in regional parks as the animals feast on ripening fruit and spawning Kokanee salmon.

“Park staff recommend that visitors travel in a group of four or more and make noise when on trails to let bears know of their presence,” said the PSA.

If you see a bear, remain calm, give it plenty of space and stay well away so it has a clear escape route. Also keep dogs on leash and prevent them from chasing wildlife.

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