A grizzly bear and two cubs were reported on many rural properties along Dicken Road the last few weeks. They have now made their way into Fernie, reported in the field behind Home Hardware and now at the north end of Hand Avenue and Colclough in West Fernie.
Are you comfortable with a grizzly and cubs in your backyard? If you have garbage in the backyard, under the carport, on the deck, apple trees that haven’t been picked, pet food outside or anything else expect bears, even grizzly bears to turn up looking for easy food. Remove the attractants, bears will move on. If it is safe to do so, scare the bears off your property, a car alarm works well, air horn, bang pots and pans even a loud electric guitar has proven to deter bears.
Carelessly stored garbage and apple trees are the root causes of bear human conflict in the Elk Valley and south Country. What is the problem with bear’s eating apples? Apples are a fine food source for bears. They are very similar to many natural foods that bears normally eat. The problem is that most apple trees are located in people’s yards. Bears are natural scavengers, have great memories, a keen sense of smell and will remember an easy food source. Carelessly stored garbage, birdfeeders, dirty BBQ’s and fruit trees are open invitations to bears.
Apples are ripe and bears are passing through town in search for easy food sources. . Owning a fruit tree in bear country is a big responsibility. Pick fruit daily as it ripens or pick it before it ripens if you don’t intend on using it and don’t allow fruit to accumulate on the ground. Pruning your fruit trees will result in a better and more manageable quality of fruit. If you can’t manage your apple tree, consider cutting it down and replacing it with a non-fruit bearing tree. Consult your local arborist. Dispose of excess apples responsibly, take them to the compost bin at the transfer station, it is free!
Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.