Between the arrival of spring when bears are out feeding and the recent rollout of Vernon’s new curbside waste collection program, residents will need to be extra vigilant with their collection carts.
The Morning Star snapped a photo of a bear cub eating from a garbage bin in the Harwood area Friday, May 27.
Holly Wise of Wise Wildlife Control — a wildlife control and rescue operation — said more education is needed on how best to manage curbside bins, particularly during feeding season.
“We live in a wildlife interface area. All residential areas have the high potential for attracting raccoons, skunks, marmots, deer and bears to name a few. Everyone must be vigilant about exclusion.”
Wildlife exclusion is the process of making sure unwanted animals can’t access your property or structure, according to varmentguard.com.
Wise said there are some strategies residents can use, including:
• Bungee garbage lids if you must keep them outside;
• Pick up all fruit/nut ground falls around trees;
• Be mindful of water sources in your yard;
• Do not leave dog/cat food outside unattended — remove bowls from dusk to dawn.
Launched in early May, Vernon curbside collection program involves collecting organics bins weekly and garbage bins once every two weeks.
Wise also has advice for protecting smaller critters this spring.
“We are now into growing season and while deer and marmots are the main predators on gardens and bushes, be especially mindful of the use of Deer Netting. If you do choose to use the netting, ensure that it does not bunch on the ground and create further hazard to reptiles.”
“The Greater Vernon Area is home to seven species of snake, all protected, so we need to do our bit to not harm other animals with our exclusion methods.”
The Morning Star has reached out to the Conservation Officer Service and the City of Vernon for comment.