March 25, 2015 - 6:06 PM
VERNON - The Conservation Service is reminding the public to minimize attractants as bears come out of hibernation and start looking for food.
Conservation officer Mike Richardson says the number of bear complaints has already started to climb in the North Okanagan.
“They’re definitely awake and coming out of their dens,” Richardson says.
On Monday, March 23, conservation was called about a bear that killed a piglet in the Haynes Road area.
“It had about a 50 pound piglet in its mouth,” Richardson says. “The residents were able to scare the bear off and it dropped the pig.”
The conservation service set a live trap but as of Wednesday morning, had not caught the bear. Although it’s not very common for bears to target livestock, Richardson says they are omnivores and will go for easy prey given the chance.
“At this moment, the bear has shown no aggression towards humans at all. We have no worries about public safety,” Richardson says.
With the rising number of bear reports, the conservation service is asking the public to be diligent about limiting attractants, such as garbage, compost bins, and barbecues.
“This time of year as the bears are coming out, they’re obviously going to be hungry after winter hibernation,” Richardson says. “Once a bear gets into garbage, he becomes a problem. We want the bears to remain wild.”
More information on how to prevent conflicts with bears can be found on the WildSafe B.C. website.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015