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Time to put your garbage and bird feeders away

This bear stopped for a picnic in Aberdeen last fall after finding some garbage left at an empty lot.
Image Credit: Venkat Geebu
March 30, 2015 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - To some April 1 signifies a day of pranks but to others, the ones concerned about the welfare of our local wildlife it's no joke. It is the day to get serious about bears.

Wednesday, April 1, is the day the City of Kamloop's community bear bylaw comes into effect. The bylaw runs from April 1 through November 30 and means residents are not allowed to put out their garbage bins before 4 a.m. on collection days. You are also not allowed to accumulate or improperly store things which attract bears.

Frank Ritcey of the B.C. Conservation Foundation says now is the time to manage our garbage appropriately and to take down bird feeders. Properly cleaning off barbecues and not leaving pet food outside will also help keep bears out of your yard.

“The idea is to take away all those unnatural food sources for bears so when they come out they move towards staying in the wilds instead of coming into town,” he says. “It’s really important. If we can keep them from getting that first meal in town they are more likely to stay in the wilds.”

Ritcey notes while some bears have been coming out of hibernation already most just shuffle around a bit and go back to their dens.

“In another two to four weeks we should be seeing the bulk of emergence,” he says.

Those with livestock such as backyard chickens, or beehives, should consider electric fencing to keep bears out. Ritcey says where community bylaws allow electric fencing it is a proven, non-lethal deterrent against bears.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

Calls regarding black bears so far this year, compared to 2014.
Calls regarding black bears so far this year, compared to 2014.
Image Credit: WildSafe B.C.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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