WildSafeBC is reminding Cariboo residents to strip their fruit trees in order to spare the bears.
Ted Traer, WildSafeBC Cariboo coordinator, urges residents in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel to take a proactive approach to deter bears, noting that once a bear gets “a reward from a fruit tree, they will likely return. There have been several reports lately of bears in 108 Mile Ranch and 100 Mile House as well as other areas in the Cariboo.
“Although fruit might seem like a natural food source for these bears, fruit in our backyards leads to habituation of wildlife – something that is dangerous and cannot be undone,” Traer said.
He suggests picking fruit and allowing it to ripen indoors or to pick fruit daily as it ripens. Cleaning up windfall is also important, as is pruning trees to control growth (making them easier to harvest.) Connect with community gleaning groups to donate excess fruit or to have your fruit gleaned (picked) for you.
He noted those who do not want their trees to produce fruit should prune the tree vigorously or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock the blossoms off the tree. Electric fencing is also a simple way to protect fruit trees from wildlife.
For more info, visit wildsafebc.com/electric-fencing to view electric fencing guidelines and checklists and to report wildlife conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.