April 24th. There have been no reported bear sightings in Elk Valley and South Country communities since an incident involving a Fernie resident and a small black bear at 4 am on Pine avenue in March. Bears have started to emerge from their dens and will move great distances in search of newly greening plant growth, carcasses melting out of the snow and other potential food sources.
Bears are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants. Spring is the best opportunity we have to prevent bears from learning bad habits by ensuring that our properties are free of attractants (unsecured garbage, dirty BBQ’s and bird feeders). If bears get the upper hand early by feeding in our back yards, it will be hard to make them wild again.
The seasonal WildSafeBC program has come out of hibernation and is planning a variety of educational programs and activities including: wildlife safety presentations, how to use bear spray, displays at community events and weekly media updates in local papers and radio. For up to date wildlife sightings and safety tips follow us on Facebook, WildSafeBC Elk Valley, visit www.wildsafebc.com or contact the community coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org to book a presentation for your group or if you have any concerns about keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.
Remember that 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.