With spawning salmon and ripening fruit throughout the Central Okanagan, more reports are coming in of bears in parks.
Evidence of bears and sightings have occurred at Mission Creek Regional Park, along the Mission Creek Greenway and in Hardy Falls Regional Park on the Westside.
Bears are also known to frequent other regional parks like Kalamoir, Glen Canyon, Rose Valley, Cedar Mountain, Bertram Creek and Woodhaven Nature Conservancy.
“With higher elevation food sources declining and fruit crops ripening in the valley below,” said Central Okanagan Regional District spokesman Bruce Smith, “this is the time of year that we start seeing more bears in some of our regional parks.
“As the bear activity increases, we post signs advising all park users that the animals are active in the area.”
Smith advises to reduce your chance of meeting a bear while hiking, you should travel in a group, make noise or carry something that makes noise.
“During the fall fish spawning season, it’s not unusual for park visitors to encounter bears along local creeks and rivers, because the fish are a plentiful and easy food source,” Smith said.
“If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it. People should respect all bears and avoid encounters with them whenever possible.”