The bears are out.
The first one to emerge from hibernation was spotted in Hope around 5 a.m. on March 15.
Lydia Koot, Chairperson of Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee, was on Facebook soon after, reminding locals that now is the time to be bear aware and avoid doing anything that will lead the animals into potential conflict with humans.
She offered the following tips.
– It’s now very important to deal with bear attractants properly. Keep your garbage locked up until the morning of pick up.
– Freeze smelly kitchen scraps or garbage until the morning of pick up, or keep them in a well-locking pail in your garage or house, or any secure place.
– Your recycling has to be clean or it will be a bear attractant too.
– It’s now time to take your bird feeders down or just fill them with a little bit of food so the birds finish the food during the day. Clean up the ground below your feeders.
– Hummingbird feeders are bear attractants too and need to be hung up so they are out of reach of a hungry bear.
– Burn your barbecue clean after each use.
– Do not leave pet food outside even if you feed feral cats. Bears love dog and cat food.
– Keep small livestock in at night and make sure the coop is securely locked.
– Lock up petroleum products like paints and stains and don’t leave any smelly items on your property.
– Remember it is against the law to unintentionally or intentionally feed a bear or any other wildlife.
“If you keep yourself safe by having a clean property, you keep the bears safe too,” Koot said. “Remind friends or family about being bear aware or let your new neighbour know that we are living in bear country.”
For more, look up Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee on Facebook.
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