Bears are back in town

WildSafeBC works with communities within the TNRD region to keep wildlife wild and communities safe

Bears are out and about again.  People are encouraged to be bear smart and keep all attractants such as food

Bears are out and about again. People are encouraged to be bear smart and keep all attractants such as food

Spring is in full swing in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and the wildlife is out and about. WildSafeBC is also back working with the various communities within the region to keep wildlife wild and communities safe.

It may be early in the season, but there have already been reports of cougars, coyotes, moose, bears, bobcats, wolves, and deer within the TNRD. The wildlife encounters include:

Black bears have been finding garbage, unclean barbecues, pet food, and outdoor freezers, causing property damage. Don’t make your yard a buffet for bears.

Coyotes have been reported stalking pets. Keep an eye on your pets, and feed and keep pet food inside.

Wolf and cougar reports have commonly been related to livestock. Practice proper livestock feed management to decrease the number of attracted critters, which in turn may attract these predators. Keep deer from being comfortable near your home.  Cougars may stalk the deer in addition to livestock.

As has been the case every year of the program, the majority of reported wildlife encounters were attributed to improperly stored garbage.

Since the inception of Bear Aware (the fore-runner of WildSafeBC) the annual destruction of bears has dropped from about 1,000 animals a year to approximately 500 animals a year. Much of this success has been attributed to increased awareness of attractant management.

Here are some additional tips to keep your community safe by managing garbage:

Store garbage in a location inaccessible to wildlife, such as your home, garage, or shed. You can also use a bear-resistant garbage can.

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

Reduce the odour and attractiveness of garbage and compost to bears by freezing smelly waste beforehand, or mixing compost regularly or treating it with lime.

For more tips and information, visit www.wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC TNRD on Facebook, or contact your local coordinator in the TNRD at 250-828-2551.

Please report sightings or conflicts with wildlife to the Conservation Officer Service’s hotline at 1-877-952-7277. You can check out sightings in your area through WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) at https://warp.wildsafebc.com