It’s that time of year. Spring has sprung, the birds are chirping and wildlife is out in search of food.
The City of Cranbrook is reminding residents to keep their homes and yards clear of wildlife attractants as spring brings with it more activity from animals.
The City says that it’s important to bring pet food inside, clean up fallen fruit from fruit trees and properly dispose of garbage and food waste in order to deter animals from your yard.
City staff pointed to two bylaws that are in place that are designed to discourage people from deliberately feeding animals and create unwanted conflict with wildlife.
“Under the City’s Deer Feeding Prohibition bylaw, as an example, residents are not to directly or indirectly leave or place food, food waste or other edible materials on their property to deliberately feed deer,” said the City in a press release. “However, residents who are using their properties for farm operations, or growing gruit and vegetables for their own personal use or have ornamental plants or flowers are not contravening the bylaw.”
Additionally, the City’s Animal Control bylaw states that residents must not feed or shelter any type of wildlife or leave pet food, food waste, seeds, nuts or fallen fruit on any property.
WildSafeBC says that other attractants can include dirty barbecues, bird feeders, and compost that is not properly managed. There are several things that residents can do to have a yard safe from wildlife encounters, all of which are available online on the WildSafeBC website.
Some of these things include landscaping to remove cover from wildlife (such as rodents and skunks), fencing your perimeter, blocking off access points for smaller animals, using motion-sensor lights or sprinklers, and more.
The City pointed to Wildsight’s Apple Capture program, which lends equipment to people for free to help take care of fruit trees.
Wildsight has fruit picking, juicing and tree pruning equipment as well as community picking and juice pressing events.
The Apple Capture program also features an online tree sharing board where members of the community can share their fruit with people who can use it. Residents simply go online, enter in their address, and state which kind of trees are available for the community to harvest.
To find more about these programs, visit wildsight.ca.
“Having wildlife in our community is a normal part of life in Cranbrook,” said the City. “But using some of these simple steps and taking advantage of the programs available through Wildsight, will help keep unwanted encounters to a minimum.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.