August 11, 2016 - 9:00 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Don’t put yourself, your fellow campers and surrounding wildlife in danger by being irresponsible with food and other animal attractants. Just don’t.
That’s the message from B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service, which continues to receive hundreds of complaints for wildlife conflicts across the province. Since April 1, conservation officers received more than 8,000 reports of conflicts between humans and wildlife around B.C., many of them involving dangerous wildlife such as bears and cougars.
Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the B.C. Conservation Service told members of the media on a conference call today, Aug. 11, many of the conflicts are preventable.
“It’s a good time to remind people they’re responsible for ensuring bears aren’t attracted to their properties,” Doyle said, adding it’s an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed or negligently store food and other attractants.
He said conservation officers are currently trying to capture a bear accessing improperly stored food in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Bears that are habituated to eating garbage or improperly stored food are not good candidates for relocation.
“It’s extremely important for campers to ensure food and other attractants are not accessible to bears,” Doyle said. “Campers, please don’t put yourselves at risk, don’t put other campers at risk, and don’t put the bears at risk.”
Campers are encouraged to make use of bear caches or food lockers available at parks, and to improvise when such devices are not available.
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