April 07, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Hibrenating black bears are waking up and they have one thing on their minds — food.
Bears have been spotted in Kamloops recently, according to WildSafe B.C. coordinator Frank Ritcey, athough he's not sure how many bears since one animal may cause multiple sighting reports.
Ritcey says no matter how many bears there are it’s an important reminder to the public the bruins are active and looking for food, and because human food is high in calories, it’s popular.
“If the hills don’t get a lot of green grass growing right away they start looking elsewhere for food,” he says. “They’re driven by their stomachs.”
As of April 1 a bylaw is once again in effect restricting when garbage can be put out for curb side collection. Bins are only allowed out after 4 a.m. on collection day, or residents could receive a $100 fine. Ritcey says this helps keep people from unintentionally attracting and feeding bears, as they discover the bins as an easy source for food while foraging.
“Once a bear has been habituated to our presence there’s virtually nothing that can be done to break them of the habit,” he says. “Relocation doesn’t always work because the bears head back into town because they know there’s good food there.”
While he says fatalities are rare from black bear attacks, there are maulings and other dangers associated with bears wandering towns.
“There’s no reason to have a large carnivore around,” he says. “There’s no need for it.”
If you do see a bear in the city call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.
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