Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

B.C. bear feeding crackdown finds hundreds of human offenders

Garbage cans, fruit trees, pet food can be fatal attractions

B.C. Conservation Officers took more than 700 enforcement actions and laid 76 charges in a province-wide crackdown on unsecured bear attractants that ran through this summer and fall.

Audits of every region were mostly conducted in September and October, when bears are foraging to prepare for winter hibernation and grapes, apples and other fruits ripen in yards and farms. This adds to the chronic issue of unsecured household garbage, pet food and bird seed that causes many of the thousands of human-bear conflicts officers deal with each year, resulting in some cases in bears being killed.

The audits resulted in 704 inspections, 76 charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act, 301 warnings and 355 dangerous wildlife protection orders, which direct a property owner to remove an attractant or face a $575 fine.

RELATED: Fraser Valley sees 50 bear conflict calls in September

RELATED: Hummingbird feeders can also attract hungry bears

“The Conservation Officer Service cannot stress enough that the best way to keep people safe and bears from being destroyed is to secure attractants around your home, business or campsite,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer for B.C.

Forsdick notes that while killing animals that become habituated to human food sources is the last resort to protect the public, relocated wildlife often fail to adapt to their new habitat. As a result, they may travel long distances, starve or return to their original area or another community in search of easy food.

The B.C. government has an online guide for managing attractants at wildsafebc.com/live/ a “Bear Smart” community program to help people prevent the sometimes fatal attraction of bears to food sources.

Statistics by region from the 2019 audit:

Kootenay: 159 inspections, 108 enforcement actions

Okanagan: 49 inspections, 133 enforcement actions

Omineca: 66 inspections, 50 enforcement actions

Peace: 51 inspections, 57 enforcement actions

Skeena: 78 inspections, 54 enforcement actions:

South Coast: 79 inspections, 202 enforcement actions

Thompson-Cariboo: 146 inspections, 33 enforcement actions

West Coast: 76 inspections, 95 enforcement actions


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read