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Problem bear still there, picnicking on household garbage in Kamloops

A blonde bear has been spotted and photographed by many Valleyview residents since moving into the community in mid-April.
A blonde bear has been spotted and photographed by many Valleyview residents since moving into the community in mid-April.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Darcy Anderson

A young bear that moved into a Kamloops neighbourhood two months ago is still causing problems in the community. 

The bear first appeared on a property in Valleyview on the South Thompson River, April 22, and despite property owner Darcy Anderson’s attempt to scare it away, it wouldn’t budge. 

“It's not afraid of anything,” Anderson said in a previous interview with iNFOnews. “It is not afraid of dogs, in fact it turned on one my dogs. I used a bear banger to get it off my doorstep and he didn’t flick an ear.”

READ MORE: Residents worried about bear hanging around Kamloops neighbourhood

The distinctive looking blonde bear has recently been seen in other areas of Valleyview with residents posting photos on social media and commenting about it getting into garbage cans. One resident is fed up with others leaving their garbage out and wants more action to be taken.

“I have a green space beside my house on the other side of a chain link fence,” Jennifer Anderson, no relation to Darcy Anderson, told iNFOnews. “And I have big dogs. The bear came up to the gate, I think curious about my dogs. I sprayed him with a hose and he took off.”

She is sure — after looking at photos — that the bear is the same one that has been wandering the area for two months and hanging out in Darcy’s tree.

“I grew up in the Kootenays and was taught to scare bears away,” Jennifer said. “I feel like that is what people should be doing instead of being afraid and allowing him to be comfortable.”

A few nights ago she was having tea on her deck at around 10 p.m. when the bear knocked over a neighbour’s bin.

“I heard the crash and realized a neighbour had put the garbage out the night before pickup,” she said. “My dog was barking and I ran after the bear in my robe. He dropped the garbage and ran.”

To Jennifer there is no excuse for leaving garbage cans out overnight and is hoping others will keep cans in garages or use locks on the lids. She keeps her bins in the garage and puts it out in the morning. 

“He has habituated because of our lack of keeping our garbage bins closed and not scaring him away,” she said. “If a lock prevents the can from opening after he knocks it down he is going to keep going down the street. If there isn’t easy food for him to find there is a better chance he will go away for good.”

READ MORE: iN VIDEO: Bear spotted running through Kelowna Walmart parking lot

Jennifer is concerned for the safety of children in the neighbourhood and for the bear.

“Eventually the bear is going to be put down,” she said. “You can go up and down the street the night before garbage day and there are easily twenty garbage cans sitting out. It is sad and preventable.”

She said as humans encroach more into forested areas, the conflicts between humans and bears is going to keep growing and she wants a plan to be put in place to better manage the situation.

“Not enough people are making noise about this issue,” she said. “More awareness is needed and more enforcement for people leaving garbage out.”

READ MORE: Trap removed from Kamloops neighbourhood but bear continues to roam free

Darcy Anderson and others put a call into the B.C. Conservation Service on April 21 and reported the problem.

The next day conservation service put out a live trap on a road near his home but the trap was removed mid-May.

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