Bears in the South Cariboo are exhibiting “a little extra effort in finding food” according to local conservation officers.
“They’re entering this stage of the year when they’re trying to consume so many calories,” CO Joel Kline said Monday. “Anything that they smell that seems like something to eat, they’re going to go after that.”
Kline said he was aware of social media posts circulated last week of a hot tub in the Interlakes area that was destroyed overnight by a hungry bear. He described that behaviour as “opportunistic and curious” rather than aggressive, noting it could have been a small rodent or some food spilled on the hot tub that prompted the reaction.
The incident serves as another reminder to secure any food sources on your property, Kline said.
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“It’s important to take extra precautions to secure any potential food source or attractants; give no reason for bears to be coming onto your property,” he said.
It’s been a busy few weeks for conservation officers as they’re fielding higher than normal calls for bears so far, which have started earlier in the season as well, Kline noted.
While no official research has taken place on the reason for the shift this year, Kline said the active wildfire season over the summer is a “potential factor” for the increased earlier sightings.
Bear sightings should be reported to conservation officers, especially if they are spotted in residential areas, so officials can monitor the behaviour and determine when a response might be necessary.
To report, call the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.