Garbage bins and bird feeders attracting bears in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Garbage bins and bird feeders attracting bears in Kamloops

A bear in the yard of Kamloops resident Madyson Cavaliere is seen in this submitted photo. Cavaliere says bears are attracted to her community by garbage bins and bird feeders.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Madyson Cavaliere
June 15, 2021 - 2:00 PM

A Kamloops resident is putting out the call to be 'bear aware' as the bruins make their way into the community on the hunt of food.

The growing community of Juniper Ridge in Kamloops is backed by kilometres of forested land. It is situated at the southeast end of the city on a hillside. There are often bears wandering around the community, mostly in the spring. Madyson Cavaliere has lived with her family in Juniper Ridge for two years. She says it is very typical to see bears wandering around.

“We live in the mountains so we have to expect bears to be around,” Cavaliere said. “Once they come out of hibernation they are hungry so they are looking for food. I am not afraid of them, just cautious. As long as I do everything I can to make sure they don’t find food in my yard I feel safe.”

Cavaliere says the bears have adapted to finding food from garbage cans around homes. She thinks it is important to prevent bears from finding food unsafely within our wildlife interface communities.

“Unfortunately, I see a lot of bins outside and even being put on the curb the night before the garbage is to be picked up,” Cavaliere said. “We don’t have a garage but we keep our bin inside so we don’t attract bears. The same goes with bird feeders. I don’t know if people realize that feeders can attract bears also. I never really thought about it until our first summer here. Now we empty ours at the beginning of spring and refill at the beginning of winter.”

Last week, Cavaliere had a young bear in her yard. She says he walked onto the property in the middle of the afternoon.

“He was a little bear,” Cavaliere said. “Thankfully my kids weren’t playing outside during that time. He was a curious little guy. He wasn’t afraid of any noises we made and didn’t seem to be bothered by us. He sniffed around our yard for a bit. Eventually he climbed our mountain ash and hung out there for 10 to 20 minutes eating. Once he came down we were able to move him out of our yard and back down our street towards the valley.”

Cavaliere loves wild animals and hopes people can educate themselves on the best practises for sharing spaces safely with them.

For information about living with wildlife see WildSafeBC, the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions.

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