Bears have been seen around Salmon Arm recently, in some cases getting into residents’ city food waste bins. The city asks residents to keep the bins in closed buildings and not put them out until collection day. (File photo)

Thwarted by tough lid, hungry bear in the Shuswap takes whole garbage can

Several bear sightings around Salmon Arm, city urges residents to keep food waste in closed buildings

When Silver Creek resident Jon Shore received notification from his doorbell camera recently, he assumed he’d see a semi truck travelling past.

The vibration from the big truck and trailers going by often triggers the camera.

However, when he looked, his view was of a bear busily stealing his garbage can.

This happened on Saturday, May 28 when he was visiting Merritt.

The garbage can was in his garage which doesn’t have a door. The can was supposedly animal proof, but he thinks the designation is meant to refer more to raccoons.

The determined black bear had taken the can and had been banging it against the wall to get into it.

Unsuccessful, it dragged the can across the yard and down a bank into the bush before getting at the contents.

Shore moved to Silver Creek last summer, so he hasn’t experienced bears on the hunt for food before.

“I’ve learned my lesson and now the garbage is locked up in my workshop,” he said.

Bear sightings are not unusual this time of year.

The City of Salmon Arm reported on May 27 it has been receiving reports from residents about bears getting into their food waste and causing damage to the city’s green bins.

“If at all possible, please keep your food waste and other curbside collection bins in a garage or shed until collection day. If bins cannot be kept in an enclosed building, try to avoid putting food waste in the bin until collection day. For example, food waste can be collected in small compostable bags and these bags can be frozen until collection day, space permitting in your freezer,” the city website suggested

The website also reminded residents that a city bylaw prohibits putting out curbside collection materials before collection day, specifically to avoid attracting wildlife into residential areas.

For any further assistance, residents are asked to call city hall at 250-803-4000.
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