If you haven’t seen a bear in your backyard yet, you may soon see one. Fall is approaching and the bears’ internal clocks are telling them to turn all their attention to eating. Bears need to gain three to four pounds a day to have sufficient fat reserves for the winter.
Bear sightings in the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and especially Sun Peaks have been increasing in the last two weeks.
Black bears have been on the golf course and in residential areas getting into improperly stored garbage. This will often cause a bear to become food-conditioned, meaning a bear will rely on finding food near people. Once a bear becomes food-conditioned and becomes comfortable around humans, the bear usually has to be destroyed due to public safety issues. Relocation is seldom used with black bears because the bear often returns to its original habitat. The relocated bear can also be killed by a resident bear in the new habitat or starve due to lack of food resources.
It’s up to residents to ensure that communities stay free of bear attractants so the bears can stay alive and we can stay safe.
Follow these key points to be Bear Aware:
- Only use bird feeders during winter months.
- Remove fruit and berries from trees and shrubs.
- Store garbage, compost and recycling in a bear-resistant container until you’re able to dispose of it properly. Never leave garbage outside at night.
- Feed pets inside and store food indoors.
- Keep barbecues clean and free of leftover food.
Bear Aware also needs help from volunteers to help with door-to-door campaigns and the Bear Aware booth at the Farmers’ Market.
For more information, contact Katelyn Leitch, the TNRD Bear Aware Community Coordinator at 250-319-6265 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 250-319-6265 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or by e-mail at ,a href=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]