Garbage is an easily accessible source of bear food and it’s up to us to keep this food source inaccessible. How you store your garbage is a key component on becoming Bear Aware. Numerous bears are destroyed each year because we make the harmful choice of improperly storing our waste. On average, 900 bears are destroyed each year because they become habituated to garbage, fruit and other bear attractants in communities.
Bears need to consume 20,000 calories a day in order to gain enough weight to survive the winter. When garbage is improperly stored the bear finds an easy, high calorie meal. The bear learns that human garbage is much easier than searching out natural food sources, and will come back for another easy meal. Bears will not only eat food scraps but will also consume plastics, which harm the bear’s intestines.
To solve this problem we need to properly store garbage. Here are some key points on how to be bear aware with your garbage:
Never leave garbage out overnight.
Standard garbage cans are neither odour-proof nor bear-proof.
Garbage is NOT safe from a bear in the carport, on the deck, or near the house.
As bears become bolder, they do approach buildings and people.
Rocks on the lid, bungee cords holding down the lid and plywood boxes do not deter bears.
Garbage should be kept in a secure area like a garage. Smelly garbage can be frozen until it is disposed of. Plan to take garbage to the dump more frequently and create less garbage by recycling.
To report a bear sighting or conflicts, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
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