Limited edition bumper sticker urges people to ‘be rude to bears’

Westerly News EDITOR’S NOTE: Today the Westerly News kicks off the Westerly Nature Page, a page (pages) devoted to news about the amazing natural world around us on the West Coast.

After a Youtube video mocked West Coasters for honking at and hazing bears on Highway 4, a Westerly News editorial asking readers to please honk at bears evoked interest on social media.

Inspired by comments like that from Bronwyn Kelleher, who thought signs should be put up to tell people to honk at bears to discourage them from being comfortable close to humans.

The Westerly took up the challenge, and we have printed a limited number of bumper stickers that urge people to do that. “(Heart) (bears?) Honk at (bears),” the stickers read in a combination of symbols and words.

“Keep beautiful West Coast wildlife safe, keep it wild. Avoid bear attractants and please be rude to bears,” it reads – all a bit busy on a backdrop of a curved ocean wave, with a nod on top to “Scenic Tofino Ucluelet.”

“For starters, it’s not rude to honk at bears. It’s not interfering with their dignity, or treating them poorly. It’s not uncivilized. Honk at a bear, save a bear’s life,” said Westerly publisher Jackie Carmichael.

“Honking at wildlife means keeping them uncomfortable around humans. The day a bear is taught they have nothing to fear from humans is the day the bear will think coming around to ask for a bite of hot dog is a good idea.”

Those who would like a bumper sticker are asked to make a donation to help fund local programs that raise awareness about barriers needed for wildlife safety.

+++ Stickers can be picked up (for a donation) at Gray Whale Deli in Ucluelet, Remote Passages in Tofino, or OCN Garden Centre in Tofino.

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