Jeremy Postal: If you’ve been watching the news this week you no doubt came across the report of a bear attack near Timmins, Ontario resulting in serious injuries to a 30-year old man, the death of his dog, and the resulting death of the bear. The story is horrible as it is rare and we’re thankful the story didn’t end with the man’s funeral.
As an advocacy group for bears it is difficult for us to hear these stories and they remind us of how important our role of educating people in bear country is to the peaceful co-existence of humans and bears. At the Get Bear Smart Society we believe humans and bears can safely and respectfully coexist and we also believe it takes some intentionality.
Sylvia Dolson: While the bears have been in a deep slumber, the elves at Get Bear Smart have been busy preparing for the upcoming season. We're set to launch our Bear Smart Restaurant program; expand our reach with enhanced social media and digital communications; continue work on our habitat replacement program; and last but not least, we've created 112 pages of pure bruin joy.
Jeremy Postal: Part II of our Cheat Sheet for Becoming Bear Smart that, if practiced, will actually save the life of bear.
Jeremy Postal: With bears emerging from their wintery dens all over North America, we wanted to give you an easy-to-reference cheat sheet of 20 bear smart practices to consider for life in bear country. Keeping bears away from human food sources gives our bears a chance at a long life. Unfortunately, far-too-often a food-conditioned bear becomes a bear with a death sentence.
Jeremy Postal: Living in a Bear Smart community is not something that happens by accident or without hard work from a few, commitment from many, and buy-in from everyone. Wherever human communities bump up against bear ranges there are bound to be human-bear conflicts and - sadly - without intentional advocacy on behalf of the bears, the bears always lose.
Jeremy Postal: Most North American black bears are born sometime beginning in mid-January right through to early-February making the yearly batch of cubs the astrological sign of either Capricorn or Aquarius. Being that my own birthday is in January I feel a certain kinship to the Capricorn's born in the cold and dark of their den. As a birthday present to them and as they contemplate life outside of the den, I thought it fitting to read them their very own bearoscope.
Jeremy Postal: During hibernation bears survive without eating by living off their fat reserves and by going into a state of dormancy; metabolism slows drastically, body temps drop by 3-7 degree Celsius, and heart's beat roughly 8-12 times per minute. It's quite remarkable, actually.
The hoax? Read the blog to find out.
Jeremy Postal: Myths abound anywhere there is a lack of understanding. This is how conspiracy theories start, how misinformation becomes fact, and how all-too-often public policies are formed. Hearsay and common-knowledge, true or not, becomes the guiding ethic or practice towards whatever it is we don't understand.
Bears, not surprisingly, are the subject of many myths and hearsays and have become the victims of public policies harmful or out-right deadly to them. And while some false things we believe about bears are almost cute, some of the things we believe wrongly about bears have significant consequences.
Jeremy Postal: The term "attack" is a term we never use when describing human-bear conflicts; it's too sensational, too dramatic, and always inaccurate. Bears aren't bloodthirsty or terrifying and they're certainly not stalking you or doubling as a furry boogey-man in the forest. So sleep easy.
Jeremy Postal: On behalf of our furry friends and neigh-bears, consider a contribution of just $10 to buy a tree and save bears lives. If you can help buy more trees...all the better, buy a grove if you can! Follow this link to learn more about our Habitat Replacement Program. Donations are gratefully received online at www.bearsmart.com/donate and are tax-receiptable within the year they are received.
Jeremy Postal: GBS is a not-for-profit charitable organization that relies on grants and donations to fund its work. Our goal is not just to ensure a viable future for bears but also to make certain bears become a respected part of our culture and their needs and well-being are considered in decision making processes. Please commit today to help ensure a bright future for our bears.
Jeremy Postal: As Christmas draws near, I'd like to make five Christmas gift recommendations your friends and family will enjoy while supporting our cause here at Get Bear Smart. So, my top five Bear Smart Gifts to give at Christmas...
Jeremy Postal: While the Whistler alpine is being dumped on and with significant snowfall right down to the valley floor, skiers and snowboarders are not the only ones filled with anticipation about the weather. Yet-to-den bears are starting to feel it too, however, a better word to describe their feelings would be "anxious."
Jeremy Postal: If you're a new resident to Whistler or simply passing through for a week, there are a few guidelines everyone in Whistler should know about what bears are up to right now. To provide a healthy environment for our bears to live in and to reduce human-bear conflicts, please consider the tips in this blog.
Kiara Smith, Environmental Services Assistant Coordinator, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: Highway corridors can, depending on weather, vegetation and other environmental factors attract bears. Unfortunately, this can result in bear/vehicle collisions, traffic jams due to bear viewing, and the habituation of bears to humans. The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (BC MoT) is working on decreasing bear activity along the Sea to Sky Highway in order to protect both humans and bears.
Sylvia Dolson: What it really means to be a Bear Smart Community
Sylvia Dolson: Inspiring a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended.
Sylvia Dolson: This blog examines the ethical dilemma of killing animals.
Dawn Johnson: Three men shaking in their boots.........
Sylvia Dolson: Don’t underestimate the power of your story. And remember…. the public responds to individuals; they have trouble relating to populations. Even broad and generic terms are difficult to relate to. It’s better to promote your cause through the life and challenges of one bear, who has a name, a family, friends, alliances, rivals and things to do each day. Because bears are actually not that unlike us. Find the similarities and invite people to become a part of their lives.