West Kelowna  

Bear roaming near school

Rob Gibson

Looks like a bear has been making itself at home in West Kelowna.

Riley Whiteman took some video of the bear sauntering around Thursday just before noon,
"there was a bear spotted crossing the highway and running up onto Constable Neil Bruce fields in West Kelowna. This was just at the end of the Whitecaps kids soccer camp. Most kids had been picked up by their parents, and the camp coaches cleared the remaining kids off the field when the bear was spotted on the edge of the field."

Saturday a couple of hikers were on Mount Boucherie when they spotted a bear (possibly the same animal), "They were shaking and scared and were looking for a route down the mountain in the opposite direction from which they came. I have lived next to Boucherie mountain for three years and have never seen a bear there in the past nor heard of one living on the mountain in recent years."

The City of West Kelowna has now issued a warning regarding the bear sightings, "the mountain is a natural wildlife habitat, consisting of Crown, city and private land, and trail users can encounter deer, raptors, rattlesnakes and other wildlife at any time. Although bear, cougar, coyote and moose encounters are less common, they can happen on the mountain."

The City has posted bear warning signs at trail accesses and indicates the signs will remain in place until the bear moves on.
"If recreationalists should wish to risk using the trail while the bear is in the area, hikers should stick to marked trails, keep pets on leashes at all times and make occasional noise or have noisemakers like bells on their packs to make wildlife aware of their presence."

The City also advises people to stay clear of all animal and plant life to avoid conflicts and to preserve the natural habitat that draws so many people to the mountain.

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