A black bear spotted near Fernie in 2020. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Bears reports across Fernie as summer sets in

The local Wildsafe BC coordinator reported that bears were checking out garbage carts in almost every neighbourhood in Fernie

The bears are out and about in Fernie in force, and locals need to re-double efforts to reduce bear attractants according to local Wildsafe BC Coordinator Kathy Murray.

“Its just that time of year and bears are motivated to find food, and people in Fernie want to leave their garbage carts outdoors.”

Murray said that there were reports about bears in “almost every neighbourhood” in town getting into garbage carts and going from yard to yard.

“There are options – the transfer station, the community dumpsters – but still, you drive around and people have got their garbage carts out. A lot of those are probably empty, but bears are going to go and investigate.

“When you chose to live in a wildlife habitat, there are some things you need to do.”

Don’t put your garbage carts out the night before, keep them stored in a bear-secure location and don’t have bear or wildlife attractants in your yard, said Murray, who added that while numbers of reports were no higher than a typical year, it was a busy time of year for bears as they set about getting a good feed.

“It’s going to have to be a team effort – everyone’s going to have to do their part. Firstly, long time residents – thank you for leading by example. If you’re new to town – make it your responsibility to educate yourself and find out what you should do in bear country.”

Resources of bear safety and awareness are available on the Wildsafe BC website at wildsafebc.com.

So far in the 2021 summer season one bear has been euthanized in the Fernie area – a grizzly bear in the Canyon Trails neighbourhood that had become habituated and understood humans were where food was.

READ MORE: Grizzly believed to have killed Alberta woman caught and will be euthanized



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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