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Bear Smart Memorial Event a Success

Bear statue relocated, bears shot in 2022 and 2023 remembered

More than 20 local residents and council members turned out for the Bear Smart memorial event this past Sunday, beside the village hall.

Bear Smart founder Norma Rodgers spoke about her 25 years of bear advocacy, and gave a bit of history of the organization.

"In 2004, we convened a Bear Smart Committee that included volunteers, staff and councillors. With grant money and in-kind village contributions, we funded educational mail-outs, bear proof public bins, signage and education," said Rodgers.

"In 2011 Lions Bay became the third community in the province to be granted Bear Smart status. This metal bear sculpture commemorates our success."

Councillor Neville Abbott also spoke, addressing the importance of resident behaviour to the survival of wildlife in the community. He noted that improperly-stored food waste, garbage and other attractants can affect peaceful coexistence with bears.

"The vast majority have done a great job securing attractants and following Bear Smart guidelines and the bylaws," said Abbott.. "This support has made all the difference. In the case of (the juvenile bear known as) Yellow Tag, there had been no reports of problems – and he’d been around a while - until suddenly human error led to an ending he did not deserve."

Resident Yong Li, a recent member of the Bear Smart committee, spoke about how being traumatized by the shooting death of a bear near her home led to her spearheading this memorial event.

The bear statue that has stood in a temporary location near Lions Bay Store since it was commissioned by Norma Rodgers in 2011 has now been relocated by Public Works to its permanent home outside the village hall. For this event, the statue was adorned with photos of the memorialized animals, along with mementoes including candles, flowers, pebbles and even a small stuffed bear.

After the brief ceremony, event attendees were invited inside the hall for refreshments and a chat led by bear behaviourist Ellie Lamb. Lamb was the winner of the 2024 Tim Jones Memorial Award for her work with North Shore Search and Rescue (SAR) and as a bear advocate.

More information about bear behaviour and interaction in the village can be found at the Lions Bay Bear Smart website.

Have a question or a thought to share about bears and other wildlife in the community? Leave your comment below, or email us at

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