September 24, 2013 - 9:29 AM
COLDSTREAM - An increased number of bear complaints to the conservation office this fall is prompting the district to remind residents what to do to remain safe and avoid the destruction of black bears.
A media release from the District of Coldstream states the bears are back and looking for food in preparation for hibernation. They'll require substantial calories every day until mid-November and if access to food is made easy through human sources such as garbage, fruit trees and bird food, the animals will become habituated. In such cases, they often have to be destroyed because they cannot be relocated and become a public safety risk.
"Attempts at relocation have failed because the bears return to the same neighbourhood, become a problem in another neighbourhood or struggle to survive and compete for food in another bear's territory and often starve to death," the release states.
Prevention is the best strategy to keep the communities safe and bears wild:
- Keep all garbage securely stored inside until the morning of collection day. Garbage is the number one reason bears have to be destroyed.
- Pick all ripe fruit and clean up under fruit trees on a daily basis.
- Never approach or feed wildlife.
- Clean your barbecues after each use by burning off any food residue and emptying the grease catcher.
- If you encounter aggressive or dangerous wildlife, call the Conservation Officer Service reporting line at 1-877-952-7277.
The Conservation Officer Service is also recommending the purchase and use of bear-resistant containers in the areas that have repeatedly experienced bear problems. The www.bearaware.bc.ca website lists suppliers for these containers as well as additional information on attractant management.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013