It’s concerning how many black bears have been destroyed already this year, said Revelstoke Bear Aware Society.
Two bears this spring have been killed by BC Conservation Officers, one in April and the other in May. Both had become habituated and dependent on garbage, said Maggie Spizzirri, coordinator.
She said black bears have been spotted in every corner of Revelstoke this spring and are getting into all manner of attractants, including garbage.
“We’re seeing a lot more activity downtown then we would normally this time of year,” Spizzirri said. Other bear “hotspots” in Revelstoke include Columbia Park and Southside.
The bear killed in April appeared to have been denning for the winter under an unoccupied trailer.
“Which isn’t uncommon. Trailers are nice and warm,” said Spizzirri.
She doesn’t know why a higher number of bears are coming into Revelstoke this spring. It’s possible more bears are becoming habituated or lingering snow from the winter is driving them into the city, said Spizzirri.
“The city is like a buffet for bears,” she said.
Spizzirri indicated Revelstoke could be in for a terribly busy bear year, potentially like 2016, when 26 bears in Revelstoke were killed.
Three black bears were destroyed in Revelstoke last year. The society said a bear charged a resident in their yard last summer, resulting in the man being sent to hospital.
According to the province, bears that pose a serious threat to public safety, have caused significant property damage, injured or suffering from distressed health may be destroyed.
The society said it’s important for people to store garbage indoors as behind a fence or under a deck is not secure as bears are very strong and great climbers.
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#Repost @revelstokebearaware ・・・ BLACK BEAR SIGHTINGS: Downtown – a bear was spotted along Douglas Street, Whales and 1st as well as all along 4th Street. . Greenbelt – a pair of dogs were spotted chasing a black bear that then turned and bluff charged the bear. Please keep an eye on your dogs when out walking in off leash areas. Many bear attacks start off from a bear chasing a dog back to its owner. . Please keep your garbage secure. Wild berries are just starting to bloom. Let's all encourage these bears to go back to the forest for the natural food and become habituated in town. . #revelstoke #therealstoke #bebearaware #bearaware #secureyourgarbage #keepourcommunitysafe #bears
As Revelstoke does not have a BC Conservation Officer, the society said it’s important for people to report bear activity so signage and door-to-door campaigns can be implemented.
The Gleaning Project, where volunteers pick fruits before they attract wildlife, has been expanded to include a Facebook group. The project has also partnered with Community Connects, for food to be donated to the food bank. Inedible fruit will be donated to pig farmers.
Tips for bear proofing your yard include:
- Secure garbage from bears, either in a bear- resistant container or indoors
- Don’t put your garbage out before 6 a.m. on the day of collection
- Harvest ripe fruit and pick up windfall fruit every day
- Remove bird feeders during bear season (April – November) or use only small amounts of feed and bring in each night
- Feed pets indoors, store pet food and livestock feed indoors
- Consider a properly installed and maintained electric fence to protect small livestock (such as chickens and beehives), fruit trees, and compost piles
- Consider removing outdoor freezers and fridges or be sure they are locked shut
- Do not put cooked food, meat, fish or cheese in compost, keep compost piles working properly-smelly compost attracts bears
- Clean barbecues after each use
- Do not feed wildlife
For more information, visit revelstokebearaware.org or contact Revelstoke Bear Aware at 250-837-8624.
To report bear sightings or conflicts with bears please call the BC Conservation Service 24-hour hot line at 1-877-952-7277.
To report a bear attractant to the City Bylaw Officers, contact 250-837-2911 during office hours or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.