This black bear wreaked some havoc on Fawn Rd. on Sept. 12. It damaged a plum tree and ate all of its fruit. (Submitted photo)

Bears take the brunt of negative human behaviour in B.C.

Common attractants are garbage, compost piles, birdseed, pet food, berry bushes and fruit trees

By Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald

WildSafeBC has recently released data collected over a five-year period regarding human-bear interactions.

WildSafeBC grew out of the Bear Aware program and focuses on preventing conflict with wildlife through education, collaboration and community-based solutions, such as the Bear Smart Community Program.

According to the data, from 2015 to 2019 there were more than 82,000 calls to the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service (COS) regarding bears, the majority of which were black bears as they are the most commonly sighted bears in B.C. and are frequently found in residential neighbourhoods.

At 48% of those calls, an attractant was noted.

An attractant is something that draws a bear into a residential area where it has a higher chance of being involved in a human-wildlife conflict. Common attractants are garbage, compost piles, birdseed, pet food, berry bushes and fruit trees.

Black bears have unfortunately born the brunt of negative human interaction, irresponsibility and the failure to secure attractants.

From 2015 to 2019 44 black bears were translocated, which means they were moved from an area where they had become involved in human-wildlife conflict to a new location elsewhere in the province. During the same time frame of 2015 to 2019, 2,490 black bears were destroyed by COS. This number does not take into account bears that were destroyed by others in wildlife-human conflicts.

“You can help increase the safety in your community and avoid conflicts with bears by securing your attractants,” reads a statement by WildSafeBC.

“That means ensuring bears cannot access garbage, fruit, bird seed, barbeque grease, compost and anything else that can provide a food reward to a bear. If there is nothing there for a bear to eat, it will keep passing through the community to seek out natural foods elsewhere. If you are in a community with abundant natural foods, be aware of these locations and use caution or avoid them when bears are most active. Be aware, carry bear spray and keep pets under control. B.C. is wildlife country and living with bears requires all of us to live, work, play and grow in a WildSafe manner.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Alison Master and Catherine Prowse pull yellow flag iris at the 2020 Community Weed Pull event at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Centre. Photo: Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society
Creston mother and daughter weed-pulling duo win volunteer of the year award

Alison Master and her mom Catherine Prowse have been volunteering with the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society since 2007

Gift basket. Source: pixabay
Creston businesses step up to help raise funds to cure rare genetic disorder

All proceeds will go towards the development of a cure and or treatment for a rare genetic disorder called hereditary spastic paraplegia-50 (SPG50)

Danielle Sonntag with her parents, Alice and Marty. Photo: Dave Handy
Creston Valley Rotary Club honours Danielle Sonntag with Paul Harris Fellow Recognition award

The Adam Robertson Elementary School teacher was given the award during a virtual assembly this week

A view of proposed seniors housing on Vernon St. Illustration: City of Nelson/ Vendure Retirement Communities
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read