After spending a short stint of time this past week following conservation officer, Mark Kissinger, around as he worked to inform local residents about how they can help keep bears out of Lake Cowichan, I was surprised to discover just how many people do not properly store their garbage or pick the fruit off their trees. Not only that, I was aghast to see, in that short period of time, the resistance he encounters from many residents.
In fact, I found it disheartening and to be quite honest, it seemed as though many people wanted to stay ignorant to the whole issue, keeping their heads buried in the sand about how their actions not only affect their neighbours, but also the health of the bears.
Our urban sprawl is swiftly encroaching on more and more wild habitat territory, and yet we seem to think we have the right to do so; we continually put ourselves above the rest of the creatures that share our beautiful land.
We have a responsibility to not only keep ourselves and our neighbours safe, but to also think about how our actions affect the world around us. It’s called common respect.