Black bears have begun poking their heads out of their dens and stepping into the spring sunshine. (Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee/Facebook)

Black bears have begun poking their heads out of their dens and stepping into the spring sunshine. (Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee/Facebook)

Be aware of waking bears

Black bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation, reminder to be bear aware

As winter gives way to spring, the furry friends surrounding Hope are waking from their long winter’s nap.

Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee chair Lydia Koot reminds the public that the black bears throughout the Hope area are waking up and as such, residents need to be bear aware.

“(Black bears) might come and eat and go back to sleep for a couple of days, but if they find garbage right away, they just stay out because food is food,” Koot said. Mothers with new cubs this year will not be out yet, Koot added, but those with cubs last year should be coming out right about now.

Across the province, hundreds of black bears are destroyed every year due to human-wildlife conflict, according to WildSafeBC. A large majority of these conflicts don’t involve human injury or fatality, but most of them involve bears gaining access to non-natural food sources like garbage.

RELATED: As nature blossoms around Hope, it’s time to spring into being bear aware

Food scraps, one of the top bear attractants, should be kept in the house and frozen if possible, left inside until pick-up day. Recycling should be washed as the scent of soda or beer can be a bear attractant as well.

Miscellaneous garbage should ideally be sorted out so that smelly items such as diapers are kept in a well-locked container in the house, garage or secure shed, only to be taken out on garbage day.

“Once they get food on your property, it doesn’t matter if it’s garbage or bird seed, as soon as they know there’s food, they’ll keep coming back,” Koot said. She added even one house not being bear aware can cause trouble for an entire neighbourhood.

Birdseed and pet food should not be left out as these, too, attract bears. However, for those who want to continue feeding wild birds, there should only be a handful of seed out at a time and the feeder should be hung as high as possible. Hummingbird feeders should be treated the same way.

RELATED: Bear sightings in Hope prompt call for caution

Koot said the local garbage and green waste bins are not bear-proof. Containers should be stored in a secure place until garbage day.

Outdoor refrigerators and freezers can be easy bear attractants as well. These should be stored inside or securely chained to a concrete pad or wall with more than just a standard padlock.

Food items aside, petroleum products can bring on the bears, too. Koot recommended cleaning up stains and petroleum prodcuts like chainsaw grease.

Koot said if you see a bear in your yard, scare it away using different noises; they may get used to the sound of bear bangers, for example. Bears seen eating grass on the side of the road or in parks should be left alone.

“If they look scraggly, don’t assume the bear is sick and needs our help,” Koot added. “You would have a bar hair day after all the months of sleeping, too!”

Those with questions or concerns about bears in the area can email Koot at lkoot@hopemountain.org.


@adamEditor18
adam.louis@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bearshopeOutdoors and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom is offering free school tours of The Pencil Patch learning garden in Abbotsford in April, May and June.
Agriculture in the Classroom offers free school tours at learning garden

The Pencil Patch in Abbotsford provides 15 outdoor learning stations

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Large gatherings of people at Kitsilano Beach on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Walter Wells/Twitter)
Vancouver police to reassess enforcement of COVID rules at outdoor parties: mayor

No tickets were given out for a large outdoor party at Kitsilano Beach

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read