Rhonda Lee McIsaac
What is big, black, orange, and wanders in the woods? Gwaay Taan, of course!
“Gwaay Taan” is the cub captured along with his sister in November 2017. They were sent to the Northern Lights Wildlife Centre in Smithers, and there, the two young taan were fattened up over the winter until they were prime for relocation.
In May 2018, Haida Laas participated in a taan Haida Gwaii black bear relocation program. Crews released the two yearlings into the forest on the West Coast. The orange tags still hang in both Gwaay Taan’s ears as he wanders many kilometers away from where he was originally relocated. His sister has been spotted closer to the original relocation site. The relocation program was a success and both taan seem to have fared well. As Gwaay Taan prepares for his second winter on the Islands, he is on his way to becoming the biggest taan he can be.
The Haida Nation respects taan and gives them their space. Haida Gwaii black bears are particularly easy going and unlikely to attack. If you encounter a taan, stay calm. Always be aware and prepared to remove yourself from the area. Do not approach or feed taan as they habituate to people easily and will search out human food. Place garbage out only on pick up days and pick up garbage at camping or hunting sites and around your home.
Report aggressive or threatening taan to Conservation Officers 24-hour line at 1-877-952-7277.