Regional District encourages residents to be bear aware

Visitors of regional parks are encouraged to increase their bear awareness after several sightings have been reported recently.

According to Bruce Smith, communications officer for the Regional District, sightings have been reported in Mission Creek Regional Park, Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park and Mill Creek Regional Park.

They're also known to frequent other more natural regional parks like Kalamoir, Glen Canyon, Rose Valley, Cedar Mountain and Bertram Creek.

With spawning salmon and ripening fruit across the Central Okanagan, evidence of bear activity is increasing as the bruins move down into the valley from the higher elevations in search of food.

"This is the time of the year that we start seeing more bears in some of our regional parks. As reports of bears increase, signs are posted advising all park users that the animals may be active in the area," said Smith.

"To reduce your chance of encountering a bear you should travel in a group, make noise or carry something that makes noise."

"If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it."

Dog owners are reminded when in regional parks their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times.

Residents have a role to play on their property by keeping any garbage securely stored and wheeling their garbage cart out on the morning of their regular curbside collection.

That will help reduce the potential temptation for bears or other wildlife.

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