Black bear strolls into Okanagan homeowner’s living room

Black bear strolls into Okanagan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

A Vernon resident had a close encounter with a bear Thursday afternoon—in his own living room.

Conservation Officer Micah Kneller said the man, who lives in the Foothills area along Silver Star Road, had left open the front door of his house during the afternoon heat when the bear strolled inside. Upon seeing the bear, the homeowner made noise, and the bear turned around and left.

Kneller said the bear was being tracked for a few weeks and had become habituated to eating garbage in the neighbourhood. Conservation officers have set up a live trap in the area, and when the bear is caught, it will have to be euthanized.

“This is exactly what we want to prevent happening,” Kneller said. Bears that have acquired the habit of eating human garbage cannot unlearn this food source.

It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to leave or place an attractant that can or may attract dangerous wildlife to a land or premises, meaning garbage cannot be left in a place where wildlife can get to it. Instead, garbage should be secured inside a building or locked metal container until the morning of curbside pickup.

“It’s sort of frustrating for this family because their garbage and everything was stored properly in a location that bears can’t get to it, and the bear walked into their house,” Kneller said. “The problem is the people who aren’t.”

Kneller said bears start by coming around people at night to look for food. If they find a food source near people they’ll start coming more and more, and eventually start coming during the day, when they run into people and dogs.

“And then slowly their behaviour escalates to where we’re at now, where the bear is so comfortable with people and so food-conditioned to know that it can find food around people that it feels comfortable enough to walk into someone’s house.”

To report an incident of human-wildlife interaction where public safety may be at risk, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Bear snacks on bird feeder near Enderby

READ MORE: Wolf put down following unprovoked attack on senior near Prince Rupert


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

ConservationWildlife

Just Posted

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read