Rash of garbage bears in Revelstoke
Up until now there have been relatively few bear sightings in Revelstoke this season, and most of those have been bears eating natural food in the wild. However that has all changed in recent days. “Bears have been reported damaging property, getting into garbage, disturbing compost, and stealing garbage cans in four different areas of town this week”, said Sue Davies, Bear Aware Community Coordinator.
“Fortunately people have been calling the RAPP line (1 877 952 7277) to report these incidents,” said Davies, who wanted to convey the importance of calling the RAPP line to report these incidents so that information could be gathered and shared. “People are worried that if they call the RAPP line, the Conservation Officer will come and shoot the bear. That is not necessarily the case. Destroying the bear is the last thing anyone wants, and is only used as a last resort once a bear has become conditioned to eating human food, has lost its fear of people, and is a serious threat to human safety,” said Davies.
The first line of defence is to ensure that bears and other wildlife don’t have access to human food. Revelstoke’s new garbage bylaw (Bylaw #2006) states that garbage must be secured against wildlife. A regular plastic or metal garbage bin will not protect your garbage. Unless you have one of the bear resistant bins, it must be in a locked shed or garage to keep it secure.
Other foods bears are attracted to are birdfeeders, fruit, smelly compost, livestock and livestock feed, pet food, and dirty barbeques. “Ensure these things are not available to wildlife and chances are that bears will just wander on by and cause no conflict,” said Davies. “The bonus is that removing the availability of these food sources also means that rodents, coyotes, and cougars are less likely to pay a visit to your property.”
To report bear sightings or conflicts with bears please call the RAPP Line at 1-877-952 7277.