WildsafeBC has confirmed that two bears were destroyed by conservation officers in Kimberley, one earlier in July and another in late June.
”Bear are attracted to human sources of food due to their keen sense of smell and garbage is the most reported bear attractant and the reason for calls to the Conservation Officer Service,” explained Danica Roussy, WildsafeBC community coordinator.
“Bears are destroyed as a last resort. When bears become habituated and food conditioned, they lose their fear of humans and tend to rely on non-natural food sources. Unfortunately, this is what happened to two bears in Kimberley.”
One bear was trapped near Kimbrook Crescent, the other on Bingay Street.
The bears had become comfortable living within city limits and started searching for easy food sources to access. The top two attractants for bears this year, according to Roussy, area garbage and bird seed.
“As a community, everyone can play a part in reducing human-bear conflicts and increase community safety,” Roussy said. It begins at home, looking at what you can do to make your property safer by securing bear attractants.”
There are many ways to help reduce bear attractants, and thus to help prevent needless bear deaths, that anyone can do.
Garbage can be stored in a shed and not left to stockpile. Only bring it out on garbage days or bring it directly to the transfer station as soon as possible. Smelly items could be wrapped in newspaper and then frozen in an indoor freezer until it can be disposed of.
Bird feeders should actually be avoided in bear country, because one kilogram of bird seed contains over 8000 calories.
Always feed your pets indoors, or only put out small amounts that will be eaten immediately. Never leave dirty food bowls outside as the smell will attract bears.
If you compost, manage it properly so it doesn’t smell. If you have livestock such as chickens, especially young ones, or beehives, these should be protected by a sturdy, permanent electric fence that is well maintained.
Clean your barbecues regularly and remove excess grease.
When fishing, dispose of the entrails and scales in deep water and never leave them on a beach.
If you have a fruit tree, make sure you’re picking fruit early, only let it ripen indoors and pick up any windfall. Roussy pointed out that if managing fruit isn’t possible, another option is Wildsight’s Apple Capture Program. This is a fruit gleaning program and they are looking for fruit to pick and always welcome people interested in volunteering. More information on this program can be found here https://wildsight.ca/programs/apples/
Finally, if you see a bear within the community, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 or online at https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/
”Information regarding bear activity and conflicts needs to be reported early so that the COS can be as proactive as possible,” Roussy said.
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