A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)

Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

Bear sightings are in bloom alongside spring, which prompts a reminder for residents to keep their garbage secure.

With a warmer spring, Conservation Officers are reporting bears are out earlier than normal, with many sightings throughout the Okanagan.

“That means it’s time to be extra vigilant. As always, when the bears come out of hibernation they’re hungry and looking for food,” Central Okanagan Regional District waste reduction office facilitator Rae Stewart said. “The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict, and take responsibility for your trash.”

Residents can do so by storing waste and recycling carts inside a shed or garage and only putting garbage bins out the morning of pickup, not the night before.

“Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell,” Stewart said. “The idea is to not attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they find your waste, they can make a real mess, but also become food-conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you, your family, your pets, neighbours and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Various models of bear-resistant garbage carts are being tested in select neighbourhoods throughout the region, as part of a pilot project. Depending on the results and how the carts perform and stand up to bear activity, there could be new cart options late this year.

But Stewart stresses the biggest takeaway from cart manufacturers and testing programs is no model or design is deemed 100 per cent bear-proof, only bear-resistant. So managing your attractants carefully is still critical.

Be Bear Aware
Members, there have been reports of bears in the area. Please remember that we share the land with these…

Posted by Okanagan Indian Band on Thursday, May 6, 2021

A pilot program expanding WildSafeBC coverage in the Central Okanagan was announced earlier this week. This is in addition to the existing Okanagan Westside WildSafeBC program.

READ MORE: WildSafeBC expands service into Kelowna, Lake Country

WildSafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and communities safe:

• Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before

• Encourage neighbours to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times

• Secure your garbage on non-collection days; store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed

• Consider freezing your kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day

• Keep your barbeque clean and covered

• Pick ripe or fallen fruit immediately; if composting, or putting in yard waste cart, ensure they are secured from wildlife access

• Use bird baths and houses to attract birds, rather than bird feeders

Report human-wildlife conflicts and sightings of bears, cougars or coyotes in the community to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information on deterring bears from garbage, visit wildsafebc.com.


@LC_Calendar
newsroom@lakecountrynews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bears

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The City of Salmon Arm’s freshly painted Chevrolet van was ready to begin its mobile visitor centre duties on June 18, 2021. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Eye-catching van to spread word of what’s great about Salmon Arm

Mobile outreach is one component of the city’s new visitor service strategy

Carver Bara winds up to throw a pitch at his June 14 game. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
PHOTOS: 15 and under baseballers step up to bat

A June 14 Salmon Arm minor baseball game resulted in action-packed moments

Nash Bredick and Ian Calkins enjoying a ride at a previous Salmon Arm fall fair. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fair returns for 2021

Fair takes place Sept. 10-12 and features midway, vendors and special events

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read