A black bear next to a trash bin. (Mark Levisay)

A black bear next to a trash bin. (Mark Levisay)

Increase in bear activity calls for Central Okanagan residents to reduce attractants

The hot and fire-ridden summer has driven an increase in bear sightings throughout Okanagan Neighbourhoods

During an abnormally active bear season, the Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding Central Okanagan residents to keep their neighbourhood safe from wildlife.

With multiple recent bear sightings throughout Okanagan neighbourhoods, including one having to be euthanized, keeping attractants to a minimum is important as bears prepare for their hibernating season.

A major attractant for bears is garbage and food waste. Tightly securing garbage cans and food waste bins greatly reduces the chance for bears to be attracted to curb-side waste.

“Bears in particular … have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily,” waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart said.

“If [wild animls] have access to your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food-conditioned. Then they pose a risk to you and your family and pets, your neighbours, and themselves,” Stewart added.

WildSafeBC suggests some tips to keep your neighbourhood safe from bears:

•securing garbage indoors or in a bear-resistant enclosure

•only put garbage out for collection on the morning of

• freezing kitchen waste until the morning of collection

•manage fruit trees by picking ripe and fallen foods right away

WildSafeBC Central Okanagan is also working on a pilot project to monitor carts out the night before collection, bear and wildlife activity, as well as to provide education to residents across the region.

For any human-bear conflicts, contact the BC Conservation Officer Services at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Fires and drought increase bear activity in Central Okanagan as fall season comes

READ MORE: ‘Exceptionally high level of bear activity’ in West Kelowna: WildSafeBC


Like Black Press on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

bearsGarbage