A black bear was lurking outside at the Riverside school parking lot early on Monday, October 19 searching for food. The summer drought has resulted in food shortages for local wildlife, leading to wildlife looking for their food sources elsewhere.

There have been many sightings of bears around Port Coquitlam due to the city’s exposure to forest and green ways. People are having to be extra careful about their garbage, for the sake of the bears and the people’s safety.

The bear that was lurking around the school didn’t do any specific damage, primarily because Riverside admin ensured that students didn’t accidentally encounter the bear. Seeing bears around has become quite common now, usually they don’t do any damage. According to attacks in houses earlier this year, “rarely are the animals so big—or so brazen.” As said by resident Paula Rossetti in an article published by CTV news. The attacking bears are usually the ones that have been feeding off of people’s fruit trees and unsecured garbage.

Earlier this year another school in Port Coquitlam was visited by a bear. However this bear was large; it ate so much it was exhausted and was resting. The school went to lock down. When the bear fell asleep is when the children were excused. (As reported by CTV news.)

Officers receive between 14,000 to 25,000 phone calls about bears each year, and most are shot. The bears won’t bother you unless you bother them. Respect the bears, secure your garbage and follow this guide at portcoquitlam.ca.