Spring is just around the corner and that means some of the region’s sleeping giants are about to break from their wintry slumber.
Okanagan Shuswap conservation officer Micah Kneller said bears should be waking up any day now.
“It’s been cold for awhile, but as soon as we get that warm snap, we will start getting bear calls,” said Kneller.
That means it’s time for people to take a good hard look at their properties to make sure all the bear attractants have been dealt with.
“Make sure all the garbage has gone away,” said Kneller. “We have too many bears being (put down) and it’s all too often because people don’t secure their attractants like garbage, fruit trees and chickens.”
Kneller pointed out that much of the Okanagan is in an interface area, which explains many of the cougar and bobcat sightings that have come in through recent days.
“We get a few a week (from throughout the Okanagan),” he said.
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“Cougars are very shy and they are just normally active at night. They follow deer populations, so where there is a high concentration of deer you can be sure to see cougar.”
Kneller pointed out that the rise in sightings over winter months is also to do with the fact that it’s easier to see a cougar when it’s highlighted against a bright white, backdrop.
In winter you can see their tracks, where you otherwise would not.
Staying safe from these creatures isn’t difficult, he said.
“If people have pets they should be kept inside at night,” he said. “That’s when cougars are active. And if you have a hobby farms, keep them secured.”
Also, if you have a sighting don’t just post it to your favourite Facebook chat site.
“People post their sightings of their problems with these animals on social media, but they neglect to tell us,” said Kneller. “A lot of things aren’t being reported to us and it’s important they are.”
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