Keep trash in house to prevent bear encounters

Grizzly bears are out of hibernation and looking for easy food sources. The Bear Aware program has tips to prevent encounters.
Image Credit: Source/Wikipedia

By Shannon Quesnel

Residents and visitors need to prevent encounters with grizzly bears and their smaller black bear cousins.

The warm Okanagan Valley weather has stirred bears out of hibernation and they are looking to guzzle some high calorie food. Bears will go after easy targets such as garbage cans and bird feeders.

The Bear Aware program has plenty of tips to prevent problems.

Store garbage in a secure building until collection day or buy a bear-resistant trash can. Trash or recycling bins will need to be cleaned and garbage should not be left in the back of a truck.

If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection.

Got a fruit tree? Pick that fruit and ripen it indoors or pick daily as it ripens. Do not allow windfall to accumulate on the ground.

Livestock feed should be secured, chickens should be kept in at night and consider electric fencing to protect your other animals. Same goes for pet food. Feed your pets indoors.

If you are barbecuing burn the grill off entirely, clean the grease trap after every use and when done bring entire unit indoors.

Bird feeders are useful in the winter when bird food sources are scarce. Avoid using them when bears are on the prowl for vittles in the summer.

For more information on how to prevent a bear encounter go to or call 1-877-952-7277.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at or call 250-488-3065.

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