Westside residents still drawing bears to their garbage | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Westside residents still drawing bears to their garbage

Image Credit: Contributed/Ken Owens Conservation Officer Service
November 08, 2019 - 4:00 PM

This was a bad year for bear sightings on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

“This was a challenging year for bear-human conflicts as it had the highest amount of black bear reports made to the Conservation Officer Service (COS) since 2016,” states a report from WildSafeBC’s Okanagan Westside coordinator, Meg Bjordal.

While the exact number wasn’t given in the report, a chart shows more than 250 bear reports going to WildSafeBC and the conservation office this year versus less than 100 in 2018.

Bjordal’s territory includes West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and Peachland.

It shows garbage as being the attractant in 62 per cent of the cases. Fruit trees and berries accounted for another 17 per cent. This was despite the fact that 550 homes were either visited or had their garbage tagged in order to help educate them.

That doesn’t mean residents are not concerned. There were more requests for education than WildSafeBC could accommodate. More funding is needed to meet those requests, Bjordal’s report states.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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