By Kathy Murray
WildSafeBC Community Coordinator
Bear season is here. Bears are lingering in valley bottoms in search of food.
Spring is the best opportunity we have to prevent bears from learning bad habits by ensuring that our properties are free of attractants (unsecured garbage, dirty barbeques and bird feeders). If bears get the upper hand early by feeding in our backyards, it will be hard to make them wild again.
After a long cold winter and late spring, bears are just starting to emerge from their dens and will move great distances in search of newly greening plant growth, carcasses melting out of the snow, or other potential food sources. Residents living in bear country should also start the spring by assessing their yard to identify and remove any potential attractants. Bears are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants.
A bear was reported breaking into a shed to access garbage in West Fernie and a bear was reported across the river from the Annex Park.
Bears reported accessing garbage and bird feeders on Western Larch Crescent, Hemlock Road, Pine Avenue and Aspen Drive.
Please report wildlife sightings and incidents to the Ministry of Environment 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277. This allows officers to identify current hot spot locations and work with both residents and bears to encourage use of natural habitats and food sources before the bear becomes habituated and/or a safety concern.
For more information on keeping communities’ safe and wildlife wild please visit www.wildsafebc.com, or follow us on Facebook.