Biggest Black Bear Cities in BC: North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge
What do these Metro Vancouver areas have in common? These are all Greater Vancouver cities that are near the beautiful local mountains. In these two articles on Moving Tips for BC Bear Country, we want to discuss a common concern when moving into these metro Vancouver cities: dealing with black bears.
British Columbia has one of the highest populations of black bears in the world. Roughly around 120,000 to 150,000 black bears call BC their home. Because of their high population in BC, it is wise to learn as much as you can about them, and what to do when you encounter a black bear in your local neighbourhood in Vancouver.
Black Bears in British Columbia
Black bears, unlike what the name seems to suggest, come in a variety of colours. They can be white, black, or in various shades of brown. Black bears inhabit most of British Columbia, except for the urban city cores. Sightings of black bears in the Metro Vancouver area are usually frequent when bears are not in their annual state of dormancy. They go into deep sleep from November to April. Right before this time, they go through a phase of intense eating called hyperphagia. In this intense period of eating, they are able to drink several gallons of water, and eat about 15,000 to 20,000 kilocalories.
It is in this period of time that bears are most active in the city, looking for food. If you are moving into bear-active cities during this period of time, it is advisable to look into bear proofing your property and learn about black bears before moving.
Black bears are large animals, measuring around 60-90cm at shoulder height and weigh up to 300 kilograms. They are extremely fast, able to run up to 35 miles an hour. They are good tree climbers and swimmers. It is important to note that black bears are especially nervous and are easily frightened. If during an encounter with a black bear, there are startling movements or sounds, the bear will attack and cause injury. Because they are very strong and powerful animals, it is absolutely important, when moving into cities like Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, or North Vancouver, to be cautious during a black bear encounter.
Moving into Metro Vancouver cities that have black bear wildlife
This article is by no means to scare you away from moving into beautiful Coquitlam or North Vancouver. Despite what was pointed out earlier, black bears rarely attack humans if left alone. In most cases, attacks from black bears transpire only if they are approached. It does not matter whether you are intentionally feeding or petting them, or unintentionally stumbling across their path. Bears will attack if they feel threatened or crowded.
Cities in BC with the Most Black Bear Sightings
Now you may wonder, how often will I encounter a black bear if I move in Metro Vancouver? The Vancouver Sun issued a report that shows the number of black bear sightings from January 2013 to March 2014. Within that period of time, the top five cities in British Columbia with the most black bear sightings reported are the following:
1) Coquitlam (1281)
2) Prince George (892)
3) Port Coquitlam (882)
4) Maple Ridge (796)
5) North Vancouver (734)
Aside from geographic locations, there are also many other factors that attract black bears into the community. In our previous article we covered what exactly is attracting black bears into the Metro Vancouver area.