Danica Roussy (pictured) is the WildSafeBC community coordinator for Kimberley and Cranbrook. (WildSafeBC file)

Danica Roussy (pictured) is the WildSafeBC community coordinator for Kimberley and Cranbrook. (WildSafeBC file)

WildSafeBC back in business for 2020 season

The bears are back in town, and so is WildSafeBC

WildSafeBC is back in action for the spring, summer and fall seasons to educate the public and help prevent conflict between wildlife and humans.

Danica Roussy, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator for Cranbrook and Kimberley, says that while the COVID-19 pandemic may be keeping most everyone at home, that is not the case for bears and other wildlife that live nearby. Roussy says she’ll be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways that maintain physical distancing guidelines and ensure safety for the community.

In a press release, Roussy outlined a number of WildSafeBC initiatives and programs that will be taking place during the months of April through November.

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Some of those initiatives include tagging garbage bins that are put out before collection day and a webinar delivery of their WildSafe Ranger program, for school aged children, as well as the wildlife awareness and safety education sessions.

WildSafeBC will also continue to provide local wildlife activity news and tips as the season progresses. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for regular updates.

During this time of year, bears will be emerging from hibernation in search of calories. WildSafeBC says that bears begin to emerge from hibernation in April, having lost approximately 30 per cent of their weight over the winter.

Last October, WildSafeBC reported lower than average numbers for bear sightings in Kimberley and Cranbrook. At the time, Roussy explained that the number one attractant for bears last year was garbage. She encourages the community to reduce conflict with wildlife by ensuring garbage is kept in a secure location until the day of collection.

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WildSafeBC asks that residents in Kimberley, Cranbrook and the surrounding areas report all conflicts with wildlife to the Conservation Officer Service (available 24/7) at 1-877-952-7277. Residents can also report sightings of bear, cougar, coyote, deer or wolf in urban areas to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), which is an online, interactive map of wildlife sightings.

“We look forward to hearing from you and with your help, we can reduce conflict with wildlife and keep our community safe,” said Roussy.

To learn more about programming or reducing wildlife conflict, you can contact Roussy at 250-908-8101 or email her at kimberley@wildsafebc.com.


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