News & Updates

Be Bear Aware


The Skwalaqs (Black Bear) is a friend to our people. They look after all of the four-legged creatures as well as berries, fish, and water. This is a reminder to be bear aware and make your property bear-proof with as little damage as possible to the bear population or community members.

If you see a bear

  • If you, members of your family or pets are outside, move slowly and quietly inside. Do not turn your back to the bear, but do not make eye contact either
  • Contact your neighbours and advise them that a bear is in the area
  • Sit back and wait. If the bear has no reason to stay, it should leave
  • If the bear will not leave or is acting aggressively, contact RAPP (report a poacher or polluter): 1-877- 952-7277
  • You can also contact the Title & Rights Department for support/tips: Loretta at (250) 306-6845 or Robyn at (250) 306-5980

Bear-proof your property

Bears are driven by their stomach. An enormous amount of energy is stored in fat over the summer and fall months so that a bear can survive a winter without eating. Hibernating bears can lose as much as 25-30% of their body weight over the winter. As a result, bears become increasingly active in their search for food as summer wanes and fall approaches. Their keen sense of smell allows them to identify potential food sources from considerable distances.

Garbage

In most communities, improperly stored garbage is the main attractant for bears. By altering our storage habits, we can eliminate garbage-conditioned bears with very little effort. Here are some steps to bear-proofing your garbage:

  • Do not put your garbage at the curb until the morning it will be picked up
  • Use a heavy-duty container with a secure lid. This not only deters bears, but also ravens, dogs, and other animals that may get into your garbage.
  • Store your garbage in a secure location, and ensure it is odour-free. A secure location is not your carport or a flimsy shed that a bear could easily enter. A shed with a door that closes securely or the interior of your house is best. A simple way to reduce odours is to place any smelly food articles in a Ziploc bag and freeze it until garbage day.
  • Use our community recycling services as much as you can. Separating your paper, glass, plastic, tins, and cardboard from your smelly garbage will leave an average household with less garbage.

Fruit trees

Fruit is not a natural source of food for bears. These trees are considered a bear attractant and will bring bears into our community. If you leave your fruit tree unmanaged you are inviting bears into your yard.

  • Prune your fruit tree so they will produce only the amount of fruit that you can pick and consume.
  • Clean all fallen fruit from beneath the trees and shrubs daily and pick fruit and berries as soon as they ripen.
  • A small, inexpensive electric fence system will act as a bear deterrent for your trees.
  • If you do not use the fruit from your trees and shrubs, consider replacing it. There are many beautiful trees and shrubs that do not produce fruit.

Composting

  • Never add meat, oil, or cooked food to your pile. Dairy products, baked goods, and un-rinsed eggshells are strong attractants for many animals, not just bears. Avoid adding these items.
  • Reduce the odours emanating from your pile. Turn the pile regularly and ensure that it contains enough moisture. Bury all new kitchen scraps with grass clippings or garden refuse. Sprinkle lime on the pile, which helps to reduce odours.
  • During the most active bear season, avoid adding kitchen scraps. These scraps can be placed in the freezer until the bears begin to hibernate. To increase the rate of decomposition, break down your scraps into smaller pieces. Consider an indoor worm composter, which is odour-free and convenient.

Learn more about proper composting here: https://wildsafebc.com/learn/wildsafe-yard/how-to-compost/

Birdfeeders

Nuts and seeds are high in fat and attract bears. Remove birdfeeders during the spring, summer, and fall months. Be sure to clean up uneaten seed and nuts from the ground. There are plenty of natural food sources for birds in the wild.

Barbeques and smokers

  • Thoroughly burn off or clean your barbeque after every use.
  • Keep your barbeque covered, and if possible, store it in a secure location.
  • If your barbeque has a grease catch, ensure that it is removed and cleaned after each use.

Pets and livestock

If your pets or animals eat it, a bear will eat it. Here are some suggestions to keep bears out of your animal’s food:

  • Feed pets, and store pet food, indoors. If you feed pets outside, place their dishes in a secure location during the night. Store food in a secure shed or in the house.
  • Store livestock feed in bear-proof containers, within electric fencing, or in secure buildings.

Hunting and cultural activities

Hanging animal hide will attract bears. Store them in your freezer or gift them as soon as possible to avoid attracting bears.

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