Photo Credit: VanIsle.News staff

What We Don’t Love-Backyard Bears

They're best viewed from a distance and not in your backyard

Young male grizzly bears often visit VanIsle, possibly seeking new territory after being displaced by older males in mainland valleys

Grizzly bears are beautiful apex predators… From a distance.

When they show up in our backyard, that’s a little too close for comfort.

Last week a North Island resident captured video of a grizzly poking around in the yard of a Nimpkish Heights home.

Nimpkish Heights is located eight km east of Port McNeill, where the Nimpkish River hits the salt chuck.

Young male grizzly bears are frequent visitors to Vancouver Island. They’ve been known to island-hop their way across from the mainland.


Bear biologists believe they may be coming over in search of new territory after getting chased out of coastal valleys by older male grizzlies. Those grumpy boars tend not to like competition for mates and habitat.

So far, there have been no confirmed sitings of female grizzlies on Vancouver Island.

Which means the likelihood of grizzlies taking up permanent residence here is unlikely.

But it’s not impossible. Vancouver Island has mountains, salmon rivers, wild blueberries and huckleberries, a healthy deer population, and big valleys. In other words, it’s the perfect grizzly habitat.

Conservation officers told local media in Port McNeill that there have been no reports of aggressive bear behaviour from the most recent grizzly visitor.

People are being asked to store and secure garbage and other attractants safely.

It might seem obvious, but if you see a bear, don’t approach it, even if this means giving up an Instagram photo op.

When bears get too comfortable around humans, it usually ends up bad for them bears.