Bear sightings rise in Okanagan as temperature drops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bear sightings rise in Okanagan as temperature drops

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September 11, 2018 - 6:00 PM

OKANAGAN - Seasonal changes are bringing bears into the Okanagan’s urban areas.

Several bear sightings have been recorded by WildSafe B.C. over the past few days in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland and Cherryville. Three alerts were issued for Kelowna, and one each for West Kelowna, Summerland and Cherryville. All the sightings occurred yesterday, Sept. 10.

B.C. conservation officer Mike Stern says people need to take steps to ensure they aren’t leaving attractants out for bears or they could be subject to fines under the wildlife protection act.

Calling the fall migration of bears into Okanagan communities an annual event, Stern says the problem is often not a bear issue, but a human one. He says residents can go a long way to reducing bear issues by following a few simple steps.

Stern advises homeowners not to take their garbage to the curb prior to the morning of pickup, and always ensure food scraps are frozen just prior to disposal. Property owners with fruit trees need to ensure the fruit is completely picked.

“Don’t leave fruit on the ground. If you’re not using the fruit, remove the tree, otherwise it’s just a bear attractant,” he says. “If bears are attracted to your home and you aren’t taking steps to prevent that, we could be issuing you with dangerous wildlife protection orders and tickets under the wildlife act for attracting dangerous wildlife.”

Stern says in spite of yesterday’s multiple sightings, it has been a quieter season than usual.

“We’d like to keep it that way.”

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