Bear season is just about over, but as the animals prepare for hibernation they are actively seeking any available food sources as those sources grow scarcer.
Whenever The Interior News runs stories about nuisance bears being euthanized, the feedback is enormous and often misplaced.
Conservation officers do not want to put down wildlife. It is the worst part of their job. They are there, as the name of their department suggests, to conserve. Sometimes it is necessary to destroy an animal, but it only becomes necessary because of the actions or inaction of humans.
This year the Conservation Officer Service (COS) received an exceptionally high volume of complaints and had to euthanize several bears.
According to a press release, each of these situations was human-caused and preventable.
The public must remain aware of this and that the COS is cracking down on unsecured attractants.
It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed wild animals and to have attractants accessible to dangerous wildlife.
As bears attempt to build up fat reserves for the upcoming winter, conservation officers will be conducting audits of all unsecured attractants in local communities and will issue wildlife protection orders for their immediate removal. Non-compliance will result in violation tickets and fines.
It should not have to come to this.
Everybody should take responsibility for their safety, the safety of their neighbours and communities, and ultimately the safety of our wildlife.
Common food sources in urban areas include bird feeders, household garbage and fruit trees. Remove bird seed from feeders and clean up any spillage. Secure household garbage and compost in a location inaccessible to dangerous wildlife. Pick fruit from fruit trees and remove it from yards.
“The Conservation Officer Service asks for communities to work together to be a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem because a fed bear is a dead bear,” the release stated.
Let’s all help out for our own sake and the sake of the animals.