Coldstream residents are being warned to secure their garbage or bears will needlessly die.
The Ministry of Environment is receiving two to three calls a day about bears getting into residential garbage.
“People are saying there’s been a bear in their garbage for three or four days and they want the bear gone,” said Josh Lockwood, conservation officer.
“But what about putting your garbage away?”
The complaints have come from throughout Coldstream, but mostly south of Kalamalka Road.
There have been no conflicts yet, but conditions could change.
“Eventually we will have to set a trap or respond to a bear being aggressive and it will be destroyed,” said Lockwood.
If a bear is trapped, they generally cannot be relocated successfully because they are placed into another animal’s habitat.
There’s also the fact that once addicted to garbage, a bear will not return to natural food sources and will return to neighbourhoods more than 20 kilometres away.
“You’re just transporting the problem from one area to another,” sad Lockwood.
Lockwood is urging residents to secure their garbage to prevent access from bears, and for residents to encourage their neighbours to take action.
“It’s a safe community issue. Every household has to buy into garbage containment,” he said.