Be bear aware

  • Jul. 8, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Submitted by the Ministry of Environment–Bears are leaving their dens in search of the nearest food source and BC residents are urged to be bear aware to help reduce conflicts.Last year, the Conservation Officer Service received 23,240 reports of bear sightings between April 1 and March 31. During that time, conservation officers attended 2,827 incidents in which bears were acting aggressively or public safety was an issue. As a result, 120 bears were relocated, while 675 bears were destroyed.Though there’s been a downward trend over the last 15 years in the number of problem bears killed, last year’s number was higher because of poor availability of natural foods, which meant bears were searching out other food sources.The most effective and natural way to prevent conflicts with bears is to put away food attractants such as garbage, bird seed, compost and fruit.Quick FactsBritish Columbians are encouraged to prevent bear-human conflicts by adopting the following practices:. Keep garbage secured in the house, garage or shed until pick-up day and return the containers to the secure site once they are emptied.. Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees.. Use bird feeders only in winter.. Keep the ground free of seeds and nuts.. Clean the barbecue grill after each use, and store it in a secure area.. Bring pet food dishes inside and store the pet food inside.. Do not add meat or uncooked food to compost. Turn it regularly and keep it covered.If you spot a bear, remain calm, keep away from the bear and bring children and pets indoors, if possible.. People should never approach a bear and should not run from it, as bears can move very quickly.. Once a bear has left the area, check your yards to ensure there are no attractants available.Learn more:Report human-wildlife conflicts that threaten public safety or result in significant property damage by calling the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line toll-free at 1 877 952-7277 (RAPP) or visit the RAPP website at: www.rapp.bc.ca

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