Coldstream residents are being reminded that bears are looking for food.

Coldstream residents are being reminded that bears are looking for food.

Coldstream residents should keep an eye out for bears

Bears are currently preparing for hibernation and need to consume a substantial amount of calories every day until mid-November

Due to an increasing number of bear complaints, Coldstream residents are being asked to protect themselves and wildlife.

The warning also follows an incident of a mother bear and her cubs being destroyed Sept. 3 in Coldstream following complaints. Even Coldstream’s mayor has reported having to scare bears out of his backyard.

Bears are currently preparing for hibernation and need to consume a substantial amount of calories every day until mid-November. Many of them have turned to residential garbage, fruit trees and bird food.

“They become habituated to humans and often must be destroyed because they are a public safety risk,” said Irma Breitkreutz, Coldstream’s executive research co-ordinator.

“Habituated bears can’t be relocated.  Attempts at relocation have failed because the bears return to the same neighborhood, become a problem in another neighborhood or struggle to survive and compete for food in another bear’s territory and often starve to death.”

Tips to prevent bears from visiting neighbourhoods include:

Keep all garbage securely stored inside until the morning of collection day.

Pick all ripe fruit and clean up under fruit trees on a daily basis.

Never approach or feed wildlife.

Clean your barbecue after each use by burning off food residue and emptying the grease catcher.

If you encounter aggressive or dangerous wildlife, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

The Conservation Officer Service also recommends the use of bear-resistant containers in areas that have repeatedly experienced bear problems.

The www.bearaware.bc.ca website lists suppliers for these containers as well as additional information on attractant management.