Bear complaints are increasing in the North Okanagan as they look for food sources.

Garbage-addicted bears a problem in the North Okanagan

Residents urged to secure their trash and other potential food sources

Wandering into North Okanagan neighbourhoods can mean a death sentence for bears.

With high-elevation food sources dried up, bears are now into the valley bottom and turning to anything they can eat — fruit, corn and garbage.

“The complaints are definitely picking up,” said Tanner Beck, conservation officer.

“People leave garbage out and the bears become habituated.”

Residents are urged to use bear-proof trash containers or keep garbage secured in the house or shed until pickup day.

Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees.

Clean the barbecue grill after each use and bring pet food dishes inside.

Bird feeders should be taken down.

“Bird feeders are not necessary in the summer and fall. There is lots of natural food for birds,” said Beck.

If residents spot a bear, they are advised to remain calm, keep away from the bear and bring children and pets indoors, if possible.

People should never approach a bear and should not run from it, as bears can move very quickly.

If a potential conflict occurs, residents can call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

However, there is the possibility the bear will have to be destroyed by authorities.

“Once they switch over to human food, relocation is not an option,” said Beck.

“They will travel great distance to get back to their home range and to find the food they were accessing before.”

Beck isn’t sure how many bears have been destroyed in the North Okanagan so far this spring and summer.

To learn how to reduce bear conflicts, go to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/human-wildlife-conflict/staying-safe-around-wildlife/bears/bear-smart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Traffic stopped on Highway 97B due to crash

The incident took place south of Mellors Store.

Comedian/magician visiting Lake Country

Wes Barker is performing at Creekside Theatre, Nov. 25

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Families of missing Shuswap women call for action

Birthday of missing woman Ashley Simpson remembered during rally in Yankee Flats

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Panthers advance; Maroons fall to Dukes

The Vernon Panthers are moving to the B.C. Subway Bowl semifinals, while the Fulton Maroons are done

Back-to-back wins for the Vees this weekend

Penticton Vees take down Capitals 10-1

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Boomer radio expands

Kelowna resident Allen Holender continues to expand his network

Most Read