Over the past couple of weeks there have been numerous grizzly sightings in East Kootenay, and an increase in Kimberley and Cranbrook over the past few years. According to WildSafeBC, we will experience a slower period in July, which will increase in August and spike in September. Historically, during the third weekend in September WildSafeBC and the Conservation Officer Services have the highest volume of calls with regards to wildlife.
WildSafeBC says that grizzlies account for approximately 500 calls to the Conservation Officer Services reporting line every year. Livestock, garbage and fruit trees are the primary attractants when grizzlies are reported.
Local WildSafeBC coordinator, Danica Roussy says that the grizzlies’ home range seems to be from Eager Hill Lookout, an extension of the Cranbrook Community Forest, to Kimberley Alpine Resort and through to Meadowbrook. This area provides great spring feeding when the mountains are full of snow, and fall activity when they need to fatten up before hibernation, with lots of relatively natural food sources available.
Roussy recommends the following to manage bear attractants and keep both the bears and community safe:
Keep your barbecues and outdoor cooking areas clean.
Keep garbage in a secure, indoor place until collection or dump days.
Manage your livestock, fruit trees and gardens by storing all feed in a secure location and keeping feeding areas clean, picking all fruit as it rises and introduce electric fencing where possible.
Compost properly by having equal amounts of both brown and green material, and turn the soil on a regular basis to reduce odours.
The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) is a map that shows where grizzlies and other wildlife have been sighted in the Kimberley and Cranbrook areas, along with information about what has attracted them there.
“By knowing where the bears are and what they are attracted to, human-wildlife conflict can be reduced – we can all do our part to keep wildlife wild and our community safe,” said Roussy.
Contact Roussey with any questions or concerns at 250-908-8101 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also visit the WildSafeBC website at www.wildsafebc.com for more information.
If you need to report a sighting or conflict with wildlife, contact the Conservation Officer Serviceat 1-877-952-7277.