It's Bear Aware Season
It's bear season in the Okanagan and so far in the South the number of sightings in residential areas is fairly normal.
Conservation Officer Bob Hamilton says normally by this time of the year they have put down one or two of the animals.
"We've have 35 calls so far this year. None of those have been too significant, there's been some minor property damage regarding some outdoor freezers. But we haven't had to put down any bears so far this year yet. Normally it's bears coming around on garbage day, people putting their garbage out too early. We've had some bears up on peoples decks when they've had freezers up there that weren't secure"
Hamilton encourages people to do the following to keep bears away:
* Keep garbage secured in a bear-resistant container or in the house,
garage or shed until pick-up day and return the containers to the secure
site once they are emptied.
* Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees.
* Use bird feeders only in winter.
* Keep the ground free of seeds and nuts.
* Clean the barbecue grill after each use, and store it in a secure area.
* Bring pet food dishes inside and store the pet food inside.
* Do not add meat products or uncooked food to compost. Turn it regularly
and keep it covered.
* If residents spot a bear, they are advised to remain calm, keep away
from the bear and bring children and pets indoors, if possible.
* People should never approach a bear and should not run from it, as
bears can move very quickly.
* Once a bear has left the area, residents should check their yards to
ensure no attractants are available.
Recent changes to the Wildlife Act give Conservation Officers the ability to issue a $230 ticket or notice for a court appearance to residents who do not secure attractants.