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

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Snow could be seen Oct. 12 on Highway 5, near the Coquihalla summit. (Contributed)
It looks like an interesting winter folks

Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and below-normal snowfall

Riders of all ages participated in 2019’s Axel Mercx Granfondo in Penticton, with over 1600 registering for 2020 before COVID-19 forced its cancellation. (Western News File)
Granfondo ‘Penticton’s best opportunity for an event in 2021’

The long-distance cycling event was cancelled this year after 1600 riders had already registered

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Vintage Vernon BC shared an image of the house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue taken in 1911. The photo, which was contributed by the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives shows the home 10 years after it was built. Dolly McClusky, a resident of the home, is seen standing on the porch. (Vintage Vernon BC - Facebook)
WATCH: Abandoned North Okanagan house on fire

Single-lane traffic in effect on Highway 97 in both directions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

The early years of Rosedale Avenue dating back to 1911. Rosedale Avenue in Summerland has gone through many changes since this picture was taken in the early 1900s. In the background is St. Stephen Anglican Church. To the left, is the newly built home of Judge Kelley. This home still exists. It is the central portion of the Providence Funeral Home. Judge Kelley named the street Rosedale Avenue. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Rosedale Avenue in Summerland dates to 1910

Some early buildings in the area still remain

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Most Read