Tips to be bear safe this summer

As the weather warms and the green grass grows, we humans won’t be the only ones out enjoying it, the Ministry of Environment cautions, who placed a “bear aware” alert last week.

As the weather warms and the green grass grows, we humans won’t be the only ones out enjoying it, the Ministry of Environment cautions, who placed a “bear aware” alert last week.

The bears, newly risen from hibernating, will be looking for the most readily available food source, they say.

Last year, Conservation Officers received 23,240 reports of bear sightings between April 1 and March 31, 2,827 of those were calls of where public safety was a concern.

As a result, 120 bears were relocated to other areas and 675 bears were

destroyed.

That, the government reports, was a higher than average number as food was fairly scarce last year, leaving the bears no other choice than to look for non-natural food sources.

The trend, over the past 15 years, of bear and human conflicts has been on the decrease overall, however.

To keep the trend on the downward trend, the MOE has issued a couple of suggestions for the residents of B.C., particularly in rural areas known for having bears around.

– Keep garbage secured in the house, garage or shed until pick-up day and return the containers to its secure site once emptied.

– Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees.

– Use bird feeders in winter months only.

– Clean the barbecue grill after each use, and store it in a secure

area.

– Bring pet food dishes inside and store pet foot inside also.

– Do not add meat products or uncooked food to compost. Turn compost regularly and keep it covered.