While salmon returns have been plentiful this year

Living in harmony with bears in the upcoming fall season

Living in harmony with bears in the upcoming fall season

Ellie Archer

WildSafeBC

We are living in bear country and this is the time of year when bears are considered to be  “hypertrophic,” meaning they are forced to focus on fattening up for hibernation. All bears need a high percentage of body fat to ensure their health during hibernation, but pregnant sows especially must have this fat on their bodies in order to produce cubs, otherwise their bodies will absorb the fertilized egg.

For the past month and a half, bears have been primarily eating Chum and Pink salmon from our creeks.  In the weeks to come they will continue to eat fish, berries and other vegetation, but they could be lured into residential areas searching for other food sources such as fruit trees, vegetable gardens, garbage cans, recycling, barbeques and gas cans to name a few.

We have electric fencing available to lend to community members to secure their attractants during the next two months. We have sourced out these fences and can pass on this information to people looking to purchase their own fence. And, people are willing to help pick your fruit if it’s more than you can manage alone.

If possible, keep your garbage and recycling indoors until you are able to take it to the dump or recycling depot. A bear’s nose is seven times more sensitive than a dog’s and can smell downwind attractants from 20 kilometers away!

Understanding these animals goes a long way to decreasing the human-bear conflict within our community. Let’s protect our property, the bears, and other wildlife over the active fall season. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at (250) 957 8445. Have an enjoyable fall!

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