Man who filmed Sooke bear encounter calls it example of what not to do
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, May 4, 2018 6:51PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 4, 2018 6:52PM PDT
The Sooke man who shot to viral fame for the world's most polite bear encounter is gaining attraction for another video, but he admits this one never should have happened.
Jordan Cote's video of a family of black bears taken late last fall went international for the very Canadian way he handled it, politely asking the bears to leave his backyard.
That video was seen around the world, garnering 18-million views on one site alone, Cote said.
This year, he caught another encounter with a backyard bear on camera. This time Cote banged on his window to scare off a bear cub that kept trying to get into a can of garbage on Cote's property.
The bear did end up running away, but Cote said he's not seeking social media fame from the latest video – he's hoping to spread awareness.
"I had a bungee cord covering the top to stop small rodents from getting inside," said Cote. "But now it's that time of year where that's not going to cut it. We need to lock up our garbage."
The volunteer group Wild Wise Sooke, which attempts to decrease the number of human-bear interactions with education, is embracing the video and calling it an example of how humans can do better.
"It's a great example of how bears really are so attracted to garbage," said Sam Webb. "It's not just cute and cuddly, because it does potentially have a lot of negative consequences around the whole situation."
Habituation has become a major issue on Vancouver Island, with wildlife relying on human garbage or livestock.
The consequences can include relocation or euthanasia for bears like the one seen in Cote's video.
"This bin is the only thing that is certified, proven to be bear resistant," said Webb.
Wild Wise is urging people to lock their garbage away or keep it indoors, especially as bear activity ramps up in spring and summer.
As for the man behind the camera, Cote says he will "absolutely" be locking up all his garbage cans and bear-proofing his property.