The Conservation Officer Service is reminding people to secure attractants around their home to stay safe this season. (File photo)

Conservation Officer warns to reduce attractants

‘Spring is coming and bears have already been spotted’

The Conservation Officer Service is reminding people to secure attractants around their home to stay safe this season, according to conservation officer Kane Kopp.

“Spring is coming and bears have already been spotted emerging from their winter hibernation. They are looking for accessible food sources,” he says. “During these challenging times, we cannot neglect our responsibility to protect the environment and keep our communities safe from human-wildlife conflict.”

He’s advising people to store garbage in a location that is inaccessible to bears and to only put it out on garbage pickup days, manage fruit trees and berry bushes, secure livestock/feed sources, limit the use of bird feeders, store freezers inside, lockdown compost, clean barbeques regularly and use common sense when it comes to interacting with these wild animals.

“There are many options to secure these attractants. Electric fencing, animal resistant containers, abstinence and proactivity to name a few. Please do your part to prevent these animals from becoming habituated and or food-conditioned.”

Do not present opportunities for bears to become habituated and or food-conditioned, he says. The COS will be monitoring and people who are found to have attracted dangerous wildlife with potential food sources may be subject to fines.

There were 91 bear calls in 2019 in the 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch area with three being euthanized which was down significantly from 2018 when there were 381 calls with eight bears euthanized.

“Please report anyone attempting to attract dangerous wildlife with potential food sources to the Conservation Officer Service. You can reach us through our 24-hour Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.”

RELATED: Bin tagging helped reduce human-wildlife conflict this fall, says WildSafeBC

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