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NEWS RELEASE · 15th October 2011
Ministry of Environment
With bears seeking out extra food to build up fat reserves for hibernation, B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service is busy responding to conflicts between humans and bears.

The main cause of conflicts in B.C. is access to non-natural food sources. Bears that learn how to get at exposed pet food, ripe fruit, improperly stored garbage, dirty barbecues or composts become conditioned and will continue to return to the food source.

"We can't prevent all bear-human conflicts but we can prevent those ones," said Environment Minister Terry Lake. "There's a lot of information out there for the public such as the Bear Aware website, which offers valuable information to help us all reduce bear-human conflicts."

The Bear Smart Community program is a voluntary, preventative bear conservation program designed by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. It is based on a set of criteria that must be achieved for communities to be awarded "Bear Smart" status.

The goal of achieving Bear Smart Community status is to address the root causes of bear-human conflicts, reduce the risks to human safety and private property, and reduce the number of bears that have to be euthanized each year. Squamish, Kamloops, Lions Bay and Whistler are the first four B.C. communities to achieve the Bear Smart designation.

Quick Facts:

* Hibernation is an important survival strategy for bears in regions such as British Columbia where their main foods - green vegetation, berries, salmon and insects - are not available in winter.

* Black bears typically hibernate for three to five months on the South Coast and for longer periods (probably five to seven months) in the Interior and the North.

* With only about six months to build up fat reserves for hibernation, black bears must eat a great deal of food. They are particularly attracted to foods that are abundant and high in protein and energy and that they can get with little effort.

Learn More:

* Information on the Bear Smart Communities program: www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart/bearsmintro.html
* Bear Aware education program: www.bearaware.bc.ca
* Report human-wildlife conflicts to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line toll-free at 1 877 952-7277 (RAPP), or visit the RAPP website at: www.rapp.bc.ca
1-2 Year old Cub
Comment by Evan Jennings on 16th October 2011
Just an fyi to everyone. There is a younger bear lurking around town the last couple weeks. It was near Chances one night and the next day on southside. Just dont want anyone to get surprised like i did, came out side got in my car an the noticed the bear five feet from where i was just standing.
Door to door lurking dangers...
Comment by Maggie Jo on 16th October 2011
With the darker days this Autumn...'might be an idea for parents NOT to allow their kids to go door to door in fundraising events without a parent actually taking the time to join their child in that activity.

I warned a wee teenie girl about the size of my pinkie finger, who came to my door alone the other week that she really needs to engage her parents/caregivers to fundraise with her when she goes to strangers' doors. I gave her the ol' "stranger talk" and also added there was a bear living at the end of our street near the bushes....so 'had to put on my outdoor shoes to help her fundraise for a bit before sending her home to ask her parents to accompany her instead.

And my daughter? Yeah...she no longer plays outside on her own cuzza the bears lingering around due to neglectful neighbors who don't have the courtesy to clean up their fruit/garbage.

Oh well. I'm having a blast being "forced" outside (outta pure safety reasons) to spend time with my daughter & neighboring children to play outside with them lest a bear nab one of 'dem. Who knew I could still skip rope for 20 minutes straight without succumbing to a heartattack?!

GOOD BONDING TIMES in the neighborhood!
Or else what???
Comment by Maggie Jo on 15th October 2011
The public is "urged" to do their part in bear awareness? OR ELSE WHAT?

The City refuses to hire a fulltime ByLaw Officer...so what are they gonna do? Well, they'll do the usual - Sit back and watch all the bears being killed in the interim while not being able to hand out tickets to the repeat offending neighbors who can't take the time to clean up their fruit/garbage?!

GRRRR!

The rest of us will continue to bite the bullet in this regard and try to make it safely to our vehicles in the very dark early a.m.'s to head to work by avoiding yet another bear in the neighborhood when everyone else is still fast asleep in bed unable to hear a rogue bear chomping on our chops!