Bear Aware: Let that bruin live another day

Garbage and other human-provided foods attract bears in communities throughout B.C.

Be bear aware this summer.

Be bear aware this summer.

If you live in rural British Columbia there is a good chance you are sharing your space with bears.  Being Bear Aware can save not only the life of you or a loved one, but it can also save the life of an opportunistic bear.

So far this year, there have been many instances of bears eating garbage and other human-provided foods in communities throughout B.C.

Bears are very opportunistic and there is nothing they love more than being able to find a lot of food for little effort. The search for easy snacks often brings bears and people into conflict when bears discover that yards can contain an assortment of high-calorie treats that include garbage, bird feeders, compost, unclean barbecues, pet food and fruit trees. Once a bear learns to equate homes with easy meals it becomes extremely difficult to keep it away from a town, camp ground or neighbourhood where it has previously found food.

Some simple steps to reduce the possibility of a bear finding food include:

• Reducing the time that garbage is available to bears by waiting until the morning of collection day to leave the garbage bin out for pickup.

• Ensuring there is no leftover food or grease on a barbecue by scraping and burning the grill as well as emptying the grease trap after each use.

• Keeping all pet food stored indoors and refraining from leaving food out for any wild animals, including birds and stray cats, in the spring, summer and fall.

• Reducing the odour and attractiveness of compost to bears by mixing it regularly or treating it with lime.

Properly managing possible bear attractants can help to make communities safer both for people and bears.

Please report conflicts with bears to the Conservation Officer Service’s RAPP hotline at 1.877.952.7277.

The Bear Aware program is sponsored by the TNRD and the Ministry of Environment. To learn more about bears and human-bear conflicts visit www.bearaware.

Be Bear Aware In The Thompson-Nicola Regional District.