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

RCMP
RCMP know of witnesses to Oct. 15 attack; want them to come forward

Appeal made to their ‘sense of right and wrong’

BC ELECTION
Liberal and NDP leaders’ election tours swing through North Island

Wilkinson holds forestry rally and Horgan talks wild salmon

MARS Wildlife Hospital just got approval for a new ambassador bird. They are hoping the community will help come up with a name for the bird, currently known as Barred Owl 783. Here, Barred Owl 783 stretches their wings as they’re accompanied by MARS President Warren Warttig on Oct. 11, 2020. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror
Hoot, hoot: MARS Wildlife Centre looks for name for new ambassador bird

Barred Owl 783 came to the wildlife centre after crashing into a window last fall

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

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Most Read