Take care when you put out your garbage; Kamloops area bears are waking up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Take care when you put out your garbage; Kamloops area bears are waking up

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April 20, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - In case you missed it, the City of Kamloops’ bylaw regarding when you can put out your garbage for collection is back in effect.

As of April 1, the bylaw is in effect again, regulating when garbage can be put out for street pick up. It may become more important shortly, as hibernating bears are beginning to wake up.

Wildlife B.C. coordinator Frank Ritcey says he’s heard bears are active in Kenna Cartwright Park.

“This is about the time of year your going to start getting reports dribbling in,” he says. “The bulk is going to be in the first week of May.”

A good way to know if bears are out is if cottonwood trees have leaves about the size of loonies, he says.

City community safety director David Duckworth says the bylaw officers will be on the lookout for cans out too early, as they can attract bears, creating a safety issue. Bins are allowed out after 4 a.m. on collection day, or residents could get fined $100.

“Obviously when there are bears in the community it’s a concern,” he says. “Putting your garbage out on the day of collection will help minimize that contact.”

The bylaw protects both people and bears, as bears that become accustomed to human garbage as a source of food are very likely to seek that out in the future, causing repeated conflicts with people.

“Once a bear is used to garbage it’s hard to rehabilitate them,” Duckworth says. “The last thing we want to do is destroy a bear.

He points out that since the bylaw came into effect conflicts with bears have been reduced.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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