Bear conflict in BC expected to increase: it’s up to us to save lives

bearAn early berry crop and a potentially reduced salmon run could mean an increase in British Columbia’s bears looking for different food sources. And it will be up to us to keep them safe.

The CBC has reported that bear experts believe the early berry crop will leave bears hungrier than they have in the past this fall. When bears are hungry and food sources are scarce, they begin looking to new areas and pushing further into human developments.

It will become vital in the coming weeks for residents and entire communities to prepare for this potential change in behaviour. Fortunately, much of what’s necessary is simply living bear smart:

  • Feed pets indoors: pet food is a major attractant to all wildlife.
  • Clean up your BBQ: grease and fats left on your barbecue or grill are enticing to bears and other mammals.
  • Secure waste: keep garbage in secured bags and bins. If you have local pickup, make sure you don’t leave your waste out overnight.
  • Other attractants: bird feeders, fruit trees and compost can all attract bears. If you know bears are in the area, take steps to remove these attractants, as well.

Bear deterrents are also options, which range from noisemakers and hazing techniques to specific household products. The Get Bear Smart Society has a great list of these items at bearsmart.com.

We know that bears will be looking for easy meals prior to hibernation this fall, and we know what happens when the government responds to bear complaints. Please, do your part to make sure our bears remain safe as autumn approaches.


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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at thefurbearers.com.

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