With rising summer temperatures comes an increase in wildlife activity and Thompson-Nicola Regional District WildSafe BC community co-ordinator Rhiannon Guerra is reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings as B.C. sees an increase in black bear reports.
As of early July there have been 5,212 black bear reports across the province which is substantially higher than the five year average of 3,610. In Sun Peaks there have been no official sightings reported to WildSafe BC or Conservation Service yet this season. While no official reports have been made, Sun Peaks residents have taken to social media to post video, photos, and updates of sightings of bears in and around the community.
“The information around Sun Peaks is great. Having signs up where people who are less familiar with the trails or the area just giving them information that there are bears in the area and to be aware,” said Guerra.
For people out enjoying the mountain Guerra recommended carrying bear spray whether you’re hiking the alpine, mountain biking in the park, or walking home along the valley trail.
“Always be aware, especially up at Sun Peaks, where you guys are kind of in the heart of the mountain. If you’re doing a lot of walking and want to feel a little bit better, again, bear spray is a good one to carry if you’re walking to and from at night. It’s just going to make you feel better,” she said.
While carrying bear spray can help give you a sense of security, Guerra stressed the importance of knowing how to properly transport, carry, and deploy the spray during a serious encounter.
“If people wanted to put together a workshop for a local group of people that are interested in learning more about it, then I would be happy to set something up like that.”
To learn more about how to handle a bear encounter visit wildsafebc.com.