Season of bears

The bruins are never more at home than in Kimberley this time of year, so exercise bear awareness.

  • Sep. 4, 2013 1:00 p.m.
Attractants of any kind

Attractants of any kind

Carolyn Grant

Although there is no formal Bear Aware program to track movement of bears in Kimberley this year due to a funding miscommunication, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence around town suggesting that black bears have moved in.

There are reports of visits by Ursus Americanus all over town, and as usual, the problem seems to be badly managed attractants.

This is the time of year to take extra care with attractants of all sorts. Make sure your garbage is stowed securely in a bear proof location, or if it is getting especially fragrant in the late summer heat, don’t wait until garbage pick up day — take a  trip to the transfer station.

The other big attractant at this time of year is ripening fruit. Apple trees all over town appear loaded with fruit. If you have a fruit tree in your yard, pick it.

Wildsight has an apple press available. You can register to borrow the press to make your own juice at http://www.wildsight.ca/apples/registration

In addition to the black bears, the grizzlies that have been sighted several times on the ski hill and the Lois Creek trails are still in the area, hanging out in the higher elevation on North Star Mountain.

The following tips come from Bear Aware BC.

Garbage

• Store garbage in a secure building until collection day or consider purchasing a bear-resistant household container.

• Ensure bins are tightly closed.

• Regularly wash all recycling items and clean the bins that contain garbage or recycling.

• Do not leave garbage in the back of a truck, even if it has a canopy.

• If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection.

Fruit Trees

• Pick fruit and allow it to ripen indoors or pick daily as it ripens. Do not allow windfall to accumulate on the ground.

• If you do not want the fruit, prune the tree vigorously to prevent blossoms or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock them off.

• If you would like to make the fruit available to others, contact a local fruit exchange program or food bank.

• Consider using electric fencing to protect your fruit trees.

If you no longer want to manage your tree, consider replacement with a native, non-fruit bearing variety.

Berry Bushes

• Berries should be picked as they ripen.

• Consider replacing your bushes with native, non-fruiting varieties if you don’t want the fruit.

• Consider using electric fencing to protect your fruit trees.

Bird Feeders

• Use bird feeders only in the winter when bears are hibernating and natural bird food is limited.

• Use bird baths or native plants to attract birds without attracting bears.

Compost

• The key to a healthy compost is ensuring equal amounts of brown and green materials.

• Layer your greens, such as kitchen scraps and fresh grass clippings with no more than 10 cm of browns, such as dried leaves, grasses, shredded newspaper and cardboard.

• Do not add fish, meat, fat, oils, un-rinsed eggshells or any cooked food.

• Add oxygen by turning regularly.

• Avoid overloading the compost in fruit season – freeze material and add gradually.

• Avoid adding cereals or grains.

Pet Food

• Feed pets indoors.

• If pets are fed outside, ensure all food is cleaned up.

• Store pet food in a secure location or in a bear-resistant bin.

Barbecues

• Clean barbecues after use by burning off the grill entirely.

• Remove and clean the grease trap after every use.

• Cover and/or store indoors (do not take propane tank indoors).

To report problem wildlife or bears in an urban setting call 1-877-952-7277.