Public urged to use common sense with bears, as cold weather approaches

Photo by Luke Jones, Flickr

The BC government has issued some tips of keeping yourself safe from bears in the community, and in the backwoods during hikes.

As the weather is getting cooler, bears throughout BC are out and about searching for available food sources to prepare for winter.

For this reason, people are urged to keep their property clear of food scraps, pet food, and bird feed – as all these things attract bears.

The government says so-called “Bear Smart” communities that keep these to minimal amounts have seen significant declines in reports of bear conflicts.

Kamloops, Squamish, Whistler, Lions Bay, and Port Alberni, are some examples of communities that practice Bear Smart routines.

Hikers can reduce the risk of interacting with bears by making their presence known with loud noises, keeping a dog on a leash, and avoiding going out at dusk or dawn.

Under the Wildlife Act, it is illegal to feed or attract dangerous wildlife – such as bears. An offense can result in penalties as high as $100,000 in fines and one year in prison.

A full list of tips to stay safe from bears is available here.