“There was a bear and 2 cubs here last night,” said our neighbour, and thus starts the terrible dilemma. I have decided that this is the year I will see a bear, reasonably close up and not be terrified. Cautious, yes, but not utterly freaked out. After all, I am very nearly Canadian and all Canadians deal well with huge, clawed, jawed, hungry omnivores, don’t they? Last year we (almost literally) bumped into a couple of small black bears on the cycle route in Whistler and the year before that, we stood in our sitting room and watched as a largish teenage bear crossed our lawn. This year I am determined to do some real bear-watching.
So this afternoon when I heard that we had been visited, and might again, I was quite pleased. Then I got to thinking. The last bear in my garden tore apart my compost bin and I had to move them both into the shed (the bins, not the bear) for the summer to prevent tempting the bear back – luring or feeding bears is against the law, and once they become accustomed to garbage and compost, they are nearly always destroyed. When I got home today, my compost bin was in 2 halves, but nothing had been taken out – was it bears last night, or the meter man who visited today and might have been really really clumsy? If I close the gates, will that keep them out? And if they get in, will they stamp all over my lovely garden, which has finally woken up and started growing? Worse, do they like peas? Will they eat all my baby vegetables?
Perhaps if I string up bells and get an air horn, I can frighten them off if they come. But I don’t want to frighten them off, I want to watch them and photograph them. Argh! What should I do?
I think tonight I shall sit out on my balcony, within easy reach of the door, with my camera , air horn, pepper spray, bear bells and camouflage netting and see if they come back. If nothing else, I might be able to surprise the neighbours.