This is the time of year when bears, cougars and other wild animals often move into some Salmon Arm neighbourhoods. Over the past week there has been bear sightings on a few different occasions near Hillcrest. After school today (around 4:00pm) a bear even decided to take a stroll down Harrison Hill and through the school yard. We all need to be prepared, should we come across a wild animal. Bear and Cougar attacks are uncommon, but precautions should still be taken.
Please talk to your children about precautions to take in their neighborhood and when walking back and forth to school. Some suggestions (https://wildsafebc.com/) are:
- Walk in groups of 3 or more and make lots of noise.
- If you carry food, it should be sealed up in your lunch kit and backpack.
- Be alert, look around.
- Use sidewalks along the road instead of shortcuts through forest or shrubby areas.
- If you do see a bear/cougar, keep calm, make yourself looks as large as possible, back away slowly, speak in a confident calm voice if the animal continues to approach.
- If it is a bear you should avoid eye contact. If it is a cougar you should maintain eye contact.
- Please report any wild animal sightings to the school.
- Do not run away. Sudden movements may provoke an attack.
- Do not carry or eat food on the way home.
- Do not approach a bear, cougar or other wild animal, and do not leave out food for it.
Thanks for your help and support.