Mareike Moore demonstrates what a high visibility bear warning sticker looks like. The sticker is designed to remind people of how attractive garbage cans are for bears and other wild animals. (Kristi Denby Photo)

WildSafeBC launches new bear awareness campaign this summer

This program is designed to educate people about the risks of leaving out unattended garbage

The Cariboo Regional District and District of 100 Mile House are partnering with WildSafeBC this summer to better educate residents on ways to avoid attracting wildlife into our communities.

If you’ve lived in the Cariboo or indeed Canada, for any length of time you probably know that when it comes to bears the number one thing that attracts them to towns is garbage, especially unattended or unsecured garbage. In the South Cariboo the primary animal it attracts of concern if black bears which is dangerous for both the animals and the people they could come into contact with.

Keeping people safe and animals wild are two things that are very important to Mareike Moore the new WildSafeBC Cariboo co-ordinator who just took on this position in May of this year. A native of Germany, Moore fell in love with the Cariboo six years ago and said that this job is perfect as it combines her love for wildlife with her love of talking to people.

As part of the educational portion of their program, Moore said that she will be visiting various neighbourhoods in 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch this summer to do garbage tagging. On the night before garbage collection, she will be placing a highly visible and removable sticker on containers on the curb to raise awareness about the danger and to encourage people to store their bins inside. This is purely meant to raise awareness as WildSafeBC does not enforce any local bylaws or give out fines.

“The bin tagging program is mainly to help educate people to make them aware that when you put out your garbage on the day before collection, that it can be a strong attractant for a bear,” Moore said. “That can put you at risk and people in the neighbourhood at risk and the wildlife itself. It’s not to point fingers or make someone feel attacked it’s just to make them aware that they should store the bins inside, when possible, or at least not store them in the curbside when it’s not garbage day.”

Read More: Conservation Officer Service investigates bear shot in 100 Mile House

Moore said bears are attracted to garbage if it has meat or fish products in the bin but also sometimes just by the smell. The danger is, however, that bears can come to associate trash cans with easy food and once they get food out of once they become food-conditioned and more inclined to continue to return to bins for food, becoming a problem. Another possible attractant for bears is bird feeders, Moore added, due to the high calory count of birdseed.

This campaign was highly successful in 108 Mile Ranch last year, when the program took place from June until September. The number of containers put out the night before collection decreased strongly after residents were made aware of garbage being a major bear attractant. It is likely that the results also affected the number of calls to the Conservation Officer Service RAPP line for black bear encounters.

When asked how to make your garbage less appealing to animals if you’re unable to store your garbage insides is to take food waste like fish and meat, put them in a plastic bag and then freeze it until garbage day. That way it doesn’t smell isn’t in your way and doesn’t attract any wildlife.

She will also be engaging in a campaign to go to door spreading the information but, rather than knock on doors, she’ll be hanging informational pamphlets on door handles for people to collect and read. She’ll begin within the next two weeks and target areas that are a bit more critical and likely to have bear encounters.

This summer Moore said they did the training to be able to offer the community bear spray workshops, which will teach people how to properly use and carry bear spray. If there’s interest in her hosting one for a business or an organization or any questions in general about what she does people can contact her via 250-302-2132 or

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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

Just Posted

One year after mill closures 100 Mile House still strong say local leaders

‘One thing this community is very good at is we’re very resilient’

Cedar Ave by hospital closed due to sinkhole

The hole is deep, at least 15 to 20 feet, and running water can be heard from it

Interior Health issues warning of increased overdose activity in Williams Lake area

H has released a number of safety tips and how to respond to an overdose should one occur

Williams Lake RCMP seek assistance locating missing youth

Angel Emile has not been seen since Monday, July 7

100 Mile RCMP warn the public about the danger of Police scam calls for seniors

This comes after a local senior was scammed out of $7,000 by scammers impersonating a police officer

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read