Bears and Cougars
Bears (and cougars) live here. While the shy cougar is barely seen and problem-encounters are not common, black bears at times, get up-close and uncomfortable. Sadly, these situations usually don’t’ end happily for the bear. Human settlements take advantage of the best that nature has to offer – good fishing holes, for instance. Of course bears like to congregate where the food is abundant too. The simple solution is: be aware, keep all food and garbage cleaned up and locked away in airtight containers. Don’t tempt the bears and they’ll be happier to enjoy you from afar!
The J.V. Cline Sanctuary for Birds and Black Bears is located on the west side of the Somass River – you can see the wildlife from pretty Victoria Quay in Port Alberni.
Canada’s largest waterfowl, the Trumpeter Swan, arrives in November, and remains until March, and chooses this sanctuary to the delight of avid birdwatchers. Hundreds of bird species are attracted to this part of the Somass Estuary which has been purchased by Ducks Unlimited, as part of their campaign to establish waterfowl preserves along the entire length of the Baja-to-Alaska Pacific Flyway.
Salmon runs attract families of black bears who enjoy their dinner and frolicking before sunset. Crowds of people can sit at a safe distance on the grassy banks of the Victoria Quay across the river from the sanctuary for a live bears photo opportunity of a lifetime.