It's kind of cute to see Toronto getting so excited about the arrival of a couple of bears from China but really, what's the big deal?
Here in North Vancouver all you need to do to see a bear is step outside your back door. During the summer those warning signs about bear sightings in the neighborhood go up on almost every telephone pole. Last year I caught sight of the lumbering back end of a black bear strolling down my lane as if it hadn't a care in the world, and the appearance of warm scat in the backyard was a regular nuisance. The neighbours exchange gossip about Paddington as nonchalantly as we discuss the weather.
My favourite bear story occurred to my son-in-law, who also lives in North Van. A couple of years ago he was in his home office talking on the phone to business associates in New York when an adult bear sauntered by just outside his window actually tiptoeing along the top of his cedar fence. You can imagine how the suits in New York reacted when he told them.
Like those folks in Toronto, the New Yorkers got pretty excited but here in BC it was just another day at the office.
Seriously, bear season is upon us once again and people should be aware of the awkwardnesses of bear-human interaction. For some good advice, check out the Bear Aware website here.