Did you know that conservation officers receive up to 25,000 calls about black bears every year and hundreds are destroyed due to human conflict!
Every year in BC there are hundreds of bears destroyed due to human/bear interactions and many more that are displaced from their natural habitat. This is an incredible tragedy, particularly because in many cases it is human-caused and often quite avoidable.
Why should I care?
- Bears are a crucial part of our animal ecosystem and they are important for fertilizing forests, dispersing seeds, and keeping a balance of animals in an area.
- Bears have no interest in coming into human-populated areas but are attracted by high calorie, easy-to-eat foods such as unpicked fruit trees and garbage.
- Once a food source is located, bears come back to an area regularly to check for more food.
- Bears can threaten human safety if they or their cubs feel threatened
- Relocation of bears hardly every works as bears will travel long distances to get back to their home territory after they have been moved.
What can I do?
- Over 70% of reported attractants in BC were related to garbage or unpicked fruits
- Garbage cans should be locked away in a shed and only brought out shortly before your regular collection
- Garbage should never be left out or dumped close to a residential neighborhood and if seen, these actions should be reported to the proper officials and cleaned up immediately
- Fruit should never be left on a tree, bush, or garden. In particular, if it is rotten on the plant then bears can smell it from several kilometres away!
- Speak with neighbors if you notice issues with their trash or fruit trees and/or call your local conservation officer or bear aware society
What should you do if you see a bear in your area?
- Immediately vacate the area to a safe location and alert the Conservation Officers in your area.
- If there is immediate risk to public safety, also call 911 and alert the police.
Buy a bottle, save a bear?
- Northern Lights Estate Winery has removed over 80,000 lbs of fruit attractants from at-risk areas and is aiming to increase the annual collection
- Each bottle of Ursa or Lumiere Blanche Apple wine sold has removed several pounds of apples from areas at risk for human/bear conflict.
- Additionally, for each pound of apples that is donated at the winery, a donation of $0.50 is made to the Northern Bear Awareness Society
- Find the Ursa and Lumiere Blanche Apple wine at select Save on Foods locations as well as other select locations located at the links below!
Learn more about preventing human/bear conflict at one of the below links!