The bears are awake

With warm weather and spring upon us, bears have left their dens to begin their search for spring vegetation, feeding on tender plant buds, grasses, dandelion flowers and other tasty morsels. It won’t be long before bears wander into Revelstoke and begin searching for other available food.

It is important that we are ready with the message: There isn’t any garbage, or other people related food here! Many people feel that we don’t see bears in town until the fall, and we don’t need to be diligent about garbage and other attractants until then. It is true that the number of bear incidents reported to the Provincial Wildlife Occurrence phone line and to Revelstoke Bear Aware is much higher in the fall, but there is still bear activity in the spring. Last year there were 20 incidents reported in June including a bear ripping apart a wooden enclosure to access garbage and two reports of a bear entering a home. Once a bear has gained access to garbage and other people related food, the bear is very difficult to deter and becomes a potential threat to people.

So… Now is the time to ensure that you are being proactive. Don’t wait for a bear to find attractants at your home, act now! The main attractants that need to be secured are:

  1. Garbage: Store garbage in a secure place between garbage pick ups and don’t put your garbage out the night before garbage day. If you have limited options or will be away, there is a dumpster at the public works yard, available during business hours.
  2. Fruit: Although fruit is not a concern at this time. It is a good time to think about pruning your fruit tree. Prune to reduce fruit this season, or to make fruit more accessible for picking
  3. Compost: For many people their compost has been sitting through the winter. It’s time to turn it, and start looking after it to prevent smells. For more information on composting in bear country, visit our website below.
  4. Birdfeeders: There is now plenty of natural food available for birds, it’s time to bring your birdfeeders in until next winter.
  5. Barbeque grills: After you have finished using your barbeque, burn off any excess food that remains on the grill. Last year there was a report of a bear trying to take off with someone’s barbeque!
  6. Pet food: Bring food dishes inside and store pet food inside.

If you see a bear in town please give Revelstoke Bear Aware a call. Reports of bear activity are used to determine areas to receive the Bear Aware education message. By reporting bear activity, the attractant that brought the bear can be identified and removed. This allows the bear the opportunity to move on and if reported early prevent the bear from becoming a garbage addicted bear and potential threat.

If you have any questions, would like to learn more about Revelstoke Bear Aware or would like to become a Bear Aware volunteer, give me a call at 250-837-8624.

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