Skip to content

Kitimat warned to secure attractants as bears emerge from hibernation

BC Conservation is reminding Kitimatians to secure attractants as bears emerge from hibernation. (WildSafeBC photo)

BC Conservation is again reminding Kitimatians to be mindful of bear attractants as the hungry animals emerge from hibernation.

“It’s spring. They’re waking up and we’ve started getting calls,” CO Michael Geuze said “We’d just like to remind people to keep an eye on the attractants—clean your barbecues and keep the garbage indoors or in the garage until collection day.”

Other common attractants include pet food, compost, bird feeders, fruit trees, and beehives.

“Some residents are good about this, especially those who have lived in town their whole lives dealing with it,” Geuze said. “But newer people to Kitimat sometimes don’t realise the sheer number of bears around the area.”

READ MORE: BC Conservation urges caution as grizzly remains at large

The District of Kitimat has several bylaws pertaining to improper accumulation and storage of solid waste and organics. Fines range from $75 per day to $100 per day.

Geuze emphasized that while occasional bear visits are inevitable, the goal is to limit the foraging opportunities to make the town uninviting as a place to stay.

The presence of a grizzly bear last December serves as a reminder of the risks to both bears and humans. Conservation officers first responded to multiple calls about the bear eating garbage in early December. The bear also followed a woman walking her dog until she reached safety at a neighbour’s house. Over several weeks, it was seen frequently in Kitimat’s municipal parks and footpaths, scavenging from local garbage bins. Despite placing two traps regularly around the town, the bear eluded capture. Reports indicate the bear was not aggressive but merely curious. However, if caught, this curiosity would have led to its destruction by Conservation officers, due to its developed reliance on garbage in residential areas.

The public is urged to call the Conservation Officer Service’s RAPP Line at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) to report conflicts with bears in town.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

Read more