Tech & Science

Bears are waking up. Here’s how to keep them out of B.C. neighbourhoods

As bears begin to emerge from their winter dens, the BC Conservation Officer Service offers tips for keeping bears away from your neighborhood.

According to BCCOS, bears are hungry and looking for easy access to food.

Food sources that attract bears to your neighborhood include garbage, bird seed, and compost.

“Fed bears quickly adapt to food rations and teach cubs to approach people for inappropriate food rewards,” the BCCOS said in a press release.

“Ensuring attractants is the single best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid unnecessary killings of bears that collide with people.”

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BCCOS is BearWise stay-at-home checklist Make sure there is nothing in your home or property that attracts bears.

Please keep your garbage in a safe place until the collection day.

“Keep your attractant in a sturdy building or in a certified bear-proof bin,” says BCCOS. “Use certified bear-resistant waste bins throughout your community.”

BCCOS adds that bird feeders are often bear feeders, so they only feed the birds during the winter months. Take down the feeders between March and November. Make sure there are no seeds in the ground.

Click to play video: 'Increase in bear activity expected in Okanagan'

Increased Bear Activity Expected in Okanagan

If you’re composting in bear country, build a compost pile inside a bear-proof electric fence.

Careless storage of attractants is a crime under the BC Wildlife Act that can result in a fine of $230. Conservation officers conduct bear attractant audits within the Okanagan region to ensure compliance with wildlife laws.

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Members of the public should report collisions with dangerous wildlife that threaten public safety by calling the toll-free Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-RAPP (7277) or visiting the RAPP website at can be accessed and reported.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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