You're In Bear Country
waste and proper storage lessens chance of conflict
Submitted by Gov't of BC/Web image
on the move searching of the nearest food source, and Environment Minister Terry
Lake is urging British Columbians to be "Bear Aware" to
help reduce bear-human conflicts.
The most effective and natural way to prevent conflicts with
bears in urban areas is to put away food attractants such as garbage, bird seed,
compost and fruit. In communities where attractants are managed properly, there
has been a decline in related bear-human conflict and the number of bears that
have to be destroyed.
British 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
Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused
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
Do not add meat products or uncooked food to compost.
Turn it regularly and keep it covered.
Work with your neighbours and municipal government to
create a Bear Smart Community.
If residents spot a bear, they are advised to remain
calm, keep away from the bear and bring children and pets indoors, if
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, residents should check
their yards to ensure there are no attractants available.
Hiking in bear country
Make sure someone knows your plans. Before
your trip, leave names, trip plans and date of return with friends or
Carry bear spray and a noise maker. Before
leaving home read the instructions. Carry the bear spray in a belt holster
or somewhere where you can access it immediately. Do not carry the bear
spray inside your backpack.
Go with friends. Bears
are less likely to approach people in groups. Check each other's position
often and remember that the larger the group, the less likely a bear will
Keep young children close to you. Children
can be particularly at risk because they are small and make erratic
If you hike with a dog, keep it on a leash. Your
dog should be leashed and under control at all times. An unleashed dog can
lead an irritated bear back to you and your friends.
Make noise. Talk
loudly, sing or let out occasional warning shouts. This will alert bears to
your approach so you are less likely to cause a surprise encounter. Remember
that other sounds, such as flowing rivers and streams and strong winds, can
drown out the noise you make. Be extra noisy at these times.
Avoid areas with typical bear food sources. These
include berry patches, grain fields, garbage pits, bee hives and anywhere
you can see an animal carcass.
Watch for fresh bear signs. If
the signs look like they were made recently, quickly and calmly leave the
Avoid being out at dusk, night or dawn. Although
bear encounters can happen at any time of day, bears are most active at
dusk, night and dawn.
The public is encouraged to 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
More information about how to be Bear Aware can be found at: www.bearaware.bc.ca
For more information on bears, human-bear conflicts and the
criteria necessary to reach "Bear Smart" status, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart/bearsmintro.html
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