Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Bears hyper-focused on feeding

Public urged to remove attractants as bears get ready for hibernation

BC Conservation is reminding Northwest residents to be mindful of bear attractants as the creatures are now in a period of intense feeding prior to hibernation.

“They are looking for calories wherever they can get them,” said BC Conservation officer for the Skeena Region, Zane Testawich. “The only thing on their mind is fattening up for winter denning.”

He’s urging residents to pick all fruit trees clean, remove or empty bird feeders, bring garbage to the curb only on the day of collection and dispose of fish remains properly in fast flowing rivers.

READ MORE: Kermode bear trapped in Terrace and relocated (2017)

He stressed for people to call the RAPP line with any bear sightings in populated areas.

“It’s also hunting season,” he added. “If you’re successful in a hunt please dispose of the hide and animal parts in a good location, not just any area where people might access.”

So far this year BC Conservation has fielded an average number of bear calls at the Terrace office, which covers a wide path east of Terrace and Kitimat through to Prince Rupert, and expects it to continue that way as long as the public helps mitigate attractants.

If bears discover a good feeding ground there’s a high probability they will return next year, increasing the chance of conflict with humans, possibly leading to the animals’ destruction.

This has been the case in several towns throughout the province this month, including Houston Sept. 5 where a mama bear and four cubs were charging visitors at a local park. The bears had taken up residence beside plentiful food sources of a salmon-bearing river and a hillside full of berries. In this case the attractant wasn’t human caused, but it served as a reminder for residents of their shared space with the wildlife.

All five bears were destroyed.

READ MORE: Mama bear and four cubs euthanized in Houston

To report wildlife-human interactions where public safety may be at risk call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP), or on cell simply dial #7277 (RAPP)


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

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