Conservation officers in the Okanagan say bears have moved into residential areas throughout the region, attracted by available garbage and other food left out by humans.
CO Terry Myroniuk says he relocated one young bear and four days later, the bear was back in Rutland getting into garbage again.
“Relocation is simply not a solution. There’s just no use relocating habituated bears; bears that are used to fattening up on human foods,” he said.
The bear was active during the day in a residential area near a daycare centre so he had to be put down this week.
Often, he said, relocating a bear creates more trauma for him than it’s worth because he ends up fighting another bear for his territory, if he doesn’t just hoof it right back to where he was taken from.
“It’s not sound wildlife management,” he added.
Bear traps have been set in the Oyama area and in West Kelowna, but, he said the traps often don’t work that well because there’s so much human food available that it’s difficult to lure the animal into the trap for food.
People who leave fruit or nuts on their trees are often the culprits for attracting the big animals into a neighbourhood, but garbage left outside is also attractive. Bears have a very sharp sense of smell.
One of the most active areas right now is West Kelowna, he said.
Bears are fattening up for hibernation so need all the calories they can get in fall.
He asks that people report bear activity so conservation officers can keep track of problem bears.
Call in reports to the Report All Poachers and Polluters toll-free line: 1-877-952-7277.