Black bears coming too close for comfort in Halifax-area neighbourhood
LAKE ECHO, N.S. -- Black bears are coming too close for comfort in a Halifax-area neighbourhood.
With hibernation season only a couple weeks away, the bears don't seem to mind the company of humans as they hunt for food -- but there are humans who do mind the company of the bears.
"I was pretty much looking at her right in the eyes," said Lisa Foggoa. "She was right in front of my window. Massive, just massive."
Day or night, mama bear and her two cubs are not afraid of human interaction.
One mother shared photos of the animals that were taken minutes before children got off a school bus.
The Department of Lands and Forestry says up to four bears live nearby, and with rows of green bins near the wooded area, it's easy for mom to find food.
"Bird seed is a big no-no, especially in the summer months and this time of year," said forest resource technician Dave Rockwood. "If it gets any moisture into it it's going to lure the animal in very quickly. Black bears can smell about two kilometres on a good day."
Rochelle Vincent is concerned for her safety and the well-being of her community.
A few days ago, she was outside when the hungry family visited her neighbours.
"We just happened to see a shadow move by his box that he stores his garbage in, and we seen the momma bear there trying to get in to the green bin with her two cubs," Vincent said.
Many people, like Kipper Summers, refuse to go out at night, and streets known for frequent bear-sightings even took a hit on Halloween.
"We had 98 trick-or-treaters here on Halloween night, and I was talking to my friend up on Mountainview there, and they only had two," Summers said.
One Lake Echo resident's shed has been attacked by bears four times. One resident says she's had to replace the boards three times and still there are chew marks visible on some of the remaining ones.
"We'll be looking at doing bear-proofing of the carts next spring, when the season starts up again and the bears come out looking for food," said Halifax Regional Coun. David Hendsbee.
A lock will be attached to green bins in the neighbourhood.
So far, officials say it has worked well at wildlife parks.
People in Lake Echo say it's a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
"I have a four-year-old," Foggoa said. "What are they going to do when a child gets killed?"
Lands and Forestry says relocating the bears isn't out of the question, but that typically only happens when the bears become aggressive.
So far, they have not attacked anyone, and people in Lake Echo are hoping it stays that way.