DAWSON CREEK, British Columbia – Safety is of primary concern for many PNG operators in this day and age.  No matter how you look at it, safety programs promote a safe work environment, and create a liability shield for employers in the event that they hire Darwin Award candidates.

A depiction of the Bear Smart program’s end goal

Wildlife has always been a safety concern in the northern latitudes, as well as in some southern regions in the western areas of Alberta and eastern areas of British Columbia. To this end, a new Bear Smart program designed as a joint venture with Shall Energy and British Oil aims to put the proverbial cap on wildlife danger for good.

According to a brochure that was hand delivered to area operators, the Bear Smart program’s aim is to bring bears and humans into the same space for a 3-day interactive training program.  The program would include activities such as humans reading to the bears, making crafts with the bears, and possibly sharing specially prepared meals along side the ursines in order to develop a positive relationship that could be fostered into a safe future for both species.  Unfortunately, however, the program failed before it began, when at the first day of training, the bears did not show up.

bear professor
Lester Federeady

We had designed the ultimate amalgamation of safety between bears and our staff in these particular regional operations.  By initiating a program of hands on, face to face interaction we hoped to bridge the gap between human and animal needs in these areas, and promote a safe environment in which all can benefit and prosper.  What we did not count on was the bears being so stubborn about the formal training program. – Lester Federeady, Shall Energy Wildlife Manager and former president of PETA International

A huge surprise to a few, while a little surprise to many, the absence of the bears was a critical failing of this inaugural program.  While a 3-month campaign had been launched to ensure the bears knew where and when the training began, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

We walked around out in the bush for weeks with bullhorns announcing the training.  We put posters up, scratched the dates and times into trees, even put recordings of the message in caves and bear dens over the last bit of winter, hoping it would sink in subliminally.  But nothing.  The bears just don’t want to cooperate. – Jenny Beans, Wildlife Specialist, British Oil LLC

In response to the programs dismal execution, Federeady and Beans have begun to plan a new program for 2015, in which several Moose and Deer will be given propaganda material to distribute among the wildlife operationally dense regions.

Bear screaming at program director

This just in! One bear finally showed up 2 days after the failed Bear Smart training program was scheduled. One of the program directors, who returned to the training site to pickup the iPhone that he had left behind, spotted a bear roaming around area. A little miffed at the failed event, he angrily asked the seemingly overgrown bear why he and his friends didn’t show up a few days ago as they were asked to, to which the ursine responded, “GROWL, ROAR, ROOOAAAAARRRR, mor-mor ***silence*** click, click, GRUNT… ROOAR, WOW!”


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