Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

B.C. bear feeding crackdown finds hundreds of human offenders

Garbage cans, fruit trees, pet food can be fatal attractions

B.C. Conservation Officers took more than 700 enforcement actions and laid 76 charges in a province-wide crackdown on unsecured bear attractants that ran through this summer and fall.

Audits of every region were mostly conducted in September and October, when bears are foraging to prepare for winter hibernation and grapes, apples and other fruits ripen in yards and farms. This adds to the chronic issue of unsecured household garbage, pet food and bird seed that causes many of the thousands of human-bear conflicts officers deal with each year, resulting in some cases in bears being killed.

The audits resulted in 704 inspections, 76 charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act, 301 warnings and 355 dangerous wildlife protection orders, which direct a property owner to remove an attractant or face a $575 fine.

RELATED: Fraser Valley sees 50 bear conflict calls in September

RELATED: Hummingbird feeders can also attract hungry bears

“The Conservation Officer Service cannot stress enough that the best way to keep people safe and bears from being destroyed is to secure attractants around your home, business or campsite,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer for B.C.

Forsdick notes that while killing animals that become habituated to human food sources is the last resort to protect the public, relocated wildlife often fail to adapt to their new habitat. As a result, they may travel long distances, starve or return to their original area or another community in search of easy food.

The B.C. government has an online guide for managing attractants at wildsafebc.com/live/ a “Bear Smart” community program to help people prevent the sometimes fatal attraction of bears to food sources.

Statistics by region from the 2019 audit:

Kootenay: 159 inspections, 108 enforcement actions

Okanagan: 49 inspections, 133 enforcement actions

Omineca: 66 inspections, 50 enforcement actions

Peace: 51 inspections, 57 enforcement actions

Skeena: 78 inspections, 54 enforcement actions:

South Coast: 79 inspections, 202 enforcement actions

Thompson-Cariboo: 146 inspections, 33 enforcement actions

West Coast: 76 inspections, 95 enforcement actions


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Witset releases COVID-19 strategy following three confirmed cases

Plan implements strict measures to contain spread of the virus

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Most Read