Don’t give the teddy bears a picnic – time for spring cleaning

Spring is crashing into March like a bear – and it’s time to do some spring cleaning to make sure you’re not giving that bear a picnic.

From Ontario, where the remnants of the last late winter snow storm have melted, to Vancouver, where the temperature hasn’t changed in 37 years, but it’s slightly less rainy now, all the signs of spring are present. And if you needed any reminders of what that means, “The Boss” has awoken.

Grizzly bear No. 122 (The Boss) has left his den. The 300-kilogram grizzly is famous in Banff National Park for being the first to wake from hibernation in recent years.

Kerri Martin: The Boss provides ridiculously exciting grizzly bear encounter

While we await what are sure to be some glorious photos, videos, and stories about spring wildlife from our supporters across the country (send them to us at, tag us on Instagram, or post to our wall on Facebook), we wanted to offer some spring cleaning tips that will keep the bears (teddy and wild alike) from having a picnic around your home.

  • Check your yard for attractants that you may have missed over winter, such as fallen bird seed, berries and fruits, and pet foods. Clean up or safely store these items if bears (or other wildlife) are in the area.
  • Make sure waste containers are secure, and rinse items for recycling prior to putting them out.
  • Ensure garbage and other waste is removed from your property regularly.
  • Remove grease traps, leftovers/burned foodstuffs, and clean barbecues regularly.

Most importantly, learn how to respect bears. We love bears at The Fur-Bearers – they’re beautiful, family-based animals whose incredible power is tempered by their often sweet natures. But we need to respect them enough to let them be wild. Intentionally feeding or baiting bears for sight seeing, photography, or even hunting, can quickly escalate to conflict with yourself or other residents or recreational users.

For more information on bear proofing your home or cottage, managing attractants for bears, or to learn about specialized deterrents, check out the Get Bear Smart Society.

Bears are just being bears as they explore their territories, play with their young, and search out resources. They’re learning how to live around us. Isn’t it fair that we learn to live with them?

Photo of "The Boss" by Kerri Martin Photography

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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