Peachland residents are expressing concern on social media about multiple bear sightings in their neighbourhoods.
On May 8, Peachland resident Annemarie de Jong wrote on Facebook: “Careful, bear on Desert Pines. He was on our driveway and (at our) front door a few minutes ago.”
Another Facebook user posted: “No more bear photos, let’s keep him a secret from conservation (officers).”
Other group members expressed they want no harm to come to the bear and agreed with the post.
WildSafeBC community coordinator Meg Bjordal wrote on the Peachland Neighbours Facebook group she was seeing a lot of posts about bears and wanted to reach out and make herself accessible to anyone who has questions.
She said it’s natural for bears to pass through the area, but once they have access to unnatural food sources they can associate those foods with people and become habituated, and that can lead to aggression.
“Garbage and bird feeders are main attractants in this area,” said Bjordal. “Please take down bird feeders and make sure your garbage is inaccessible. WildSafeBC advises keeping garbage stored in a secure shed/garage, or freezing it, particularly kitchen waste, so that (neither) you nor the bears can smell it. And then put it out in the bin on collection day only.”
“We are trying to get the municipalities, and regional districts to adopt the Wild Safe program, and become Bear Smart communities,” said West Kelowna conservation officer Ed Seitz. “So far, West Kelowna has taken responsibility and hired a community Bear Safe coordinator. We are still waiting for the rest to do the same.”
Under the B.C. Wildlife Act it is an offence for someone to leave out attractants for dangerous wildlife like bears. If caught doing so, the person can be issued a dangerous wildlife protection order and, or, fined.
Report all wildlife encounters to the BC Conservation Officer Service RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.