International Bear Day events kick off Saturday at Capilano University

This weekend, residents of North Vancouver will have a rare opportunity to encounter grizzly bears and spirit bears, in addition to the more common resident black bears.

April 2nd marks International Bear Day, and free events are being held throughout the day at Capilano University in North Vancouver (Cedar building, room CE148 and Bosa Centre theatre). 

Presented by Capilano University, the North Shore Black Bear Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the event is a celebration of bears and an opportunity for families to learn about bear conservation.

But currently, the B.C. government is opening the controversial trophy hunt of grizzly bears, despite opposition by over 90 per cent of British Columbians. 

Read more about grizzly trophy hunting in Vancouver Observer's award-winning trophy hunting series here.

“Bears are of significant importance to all British Columbians, so it’s appropriate to celebrate them as they emerge from hibernation," Raincoast’s Brian Falconer said in a news release. "With the continued trophy hunting of bears in B.C. facing overwhelming public opposition, I’m also excited to provide an update this Saturday evening on our efforts to protect grizzly bears in partnership with Coastal First Nations.”

“As part of the University’s EarthWorks program we are keen to help communities embrace bear biology with input from Raincoast and the Spirit bear Research Foundation," Marja de Jong Westman, Co-ordinator at Capilano University’s Biology Department, said. "The input of other conservation groups and First Nations voices also completes this year's EarthWorks theme of Art, Advocacy and the Anthropocene.”

“It is the perfect time to come along with the family and learn simply steps for living safely alongside black bears,” Christine Miller of the North Shore Black Bear Society said.

The event includes a free family afternoon, from 1-4 p.m., with crafts, face painting, storytelling, music, displays, interactive presentations, workshops and a nature walk. The evening program (7-9 p.m.) will include a screening of the film Great Bear, along with presentations about research and conservation in the land of the spirit bear from Raincoast scientist and Spirit Bear Research Foundation director Christina Service.

See here for tickets. 

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