Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

B.C. bear feeding crackdown finds hundreds of human offenders

Garbage cans, fruit trees, pet food can be fatal attractions

B.C. Conservation Officers took more than 700 enforcement actions and laid 76 charges in a province-wide crackdown on unsecured bear attractants that ran through this summer and fall.

Audits of every region were mostly conducted in September and October, when bears are foraging to prepare for winter hibernation and grapes, apples and other fruits ripen in yards and farms. This adds to the chronic issue of unsecured household garbage, pet food and bird seed that causes many of the thousands of human-bear conflicts officers deal with each year, resulting in some cases in bears being killed.

The audits resulted in 704 inspections, 76 charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act, 301 warnings and 355 dangerous wildlife protection orders, which direct a property owner to remove an attractant or face a $575 fine.

RELATED: Fraser Valley sees 50 bear conflict calls in September

RELATED: Hummingbird feeders can also attract hungry bears

“The Conservation Officer Service cannot stress enough that the best way to keep people safe and bears from being destroyed is to secure attractants around your home, business or campsite,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer for B.C.

Forsdick notes that while killing animals that become habituated to human food sources is the last resort to protect the public, relocated wildlife often fail to adapt to their new habitat. As a result, they may travel long distances, starve or return to their original area or another community in search of easy food.

The B.C. government has an online guide for managing attractants at wildsafebc.com/live/ a “Bear Smart” community program to help people prevent the sometimes fatal attraction of bears to food sources.

Statistics by region from the 2019 audit:

Kootenay: 159 inspections, 108 enforcement actions

Okanagan: 49 inspections, 133 enforcement actions

Omineca: 66 inspections, 50 enforcement actions

Peace: 51 inspections, 57 enforcement actions

Skeena: 78 inspections, 54 enforcement actions:

South Coast: 79 inspections, 202 enforcement actions

Thompson-Cariboo: 146 inspections, 33 enforcement actions

West Coast: 76 inspections, 95 enforcement actions


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Shuswap resident’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

Wanted Alberta man linked to Shuswap stabbing turns himself in

Terrance Alan Jones is charged with attempted murder and other offences in relation to an Aug. 16 incident in Blind Bay

Salmon Arm holding off on plastic shopping bag ban

Provincial support gives weight to municipal bylaws banning single-use plastic bags

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Charges recommended for Kelowna Mountie investigated in shooting

Police watchdog recommends charges after shooting puts man in hospital

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

South Okanagan-Similkameen mountie assaulted by alleged impaired driver

The officer was responding to reports of a collision in Cawston

Okanagan teen wheels along for new playground

Aiden Satterthwaite hopes to unicycle 41 kms to raise money for playground in Valley of the Sun

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Column: Unable to part with a pack rat

Great Outdoors by James Murray

Most Read