With bears coming out of their winter hibernation, B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) is asking Terrace residents to be alert and ready to implement preventative conservation methods.
“We’re asking all Terrace residents to do their best and do their part to help us keep the bears wild and live,” said Alex Lyubomudrov, conservation officer with the North Coast Zone.
Every year wildlife-human conflict between humans and bears results in hundreds of bears getting destroyed and as well as human casualties.
Last year due to the scarcity of berry crops, a lot of bears were sighted in residential areas. COS recorded 900 reports of human-bear conflict in Northwest B.C. – a dramatic increase from their average 300 to 500 reports a year – which led to over 100 bears being euthanized.
“Bears are looking for foraging opportunities and their exceptional sense of smell may lure then into our communities,” said Lyubomudrov while stressing on the importance of attractant management.
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Most of the conflicts begin when people allow bears to access non-natural food sources. Residents are therefore advised to keep garbage inside until pickup day and clean recycling bins before placing them out. Commercial operations should try to use dumpsters with metal lids, as bears easily break through plastic dumpster lids.
Citizens must ensure that fruit trees are picked, and any fruit beneath be moved. Lyubomudrov also advises pets and livestock to be fed inside secure holdings rather than outside where they are prone to attacks.
If a bear is spotted, the conservation officer urges public to call the 24-hour RAPP line 1-877-952-7227 immediately.