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

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

Just Posted

Sharon McNeill (right) was among the first batch of residents to pick up free seeds and seedlings from Ali Rivers, Central Saanich’s climate action specialist, during Thursday’s Seed Giveaway. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich plants seeds in the fight against climate change

Seed Giveaway promotes environmental stewardship

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).
Chamber of Commerce promises Sidney warehouse proposal will deliver jobs

Nearby resident said project’s benefits will be short-lived

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

Work is progressing on the new student housing building at the University of Victoria. The building will be home to 398 students when complete in September 2022. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
VIDEO: Mass timber installation begins at UVic student housing project

Green technology plays key role in building that will be home to 398 University of Victoria students

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Jasmine Francoeur from Comox is an aviation technician for the Snowbirds air demonstration team. Photo by Canadian Forces/submitted
Island woman’s career comes full circle as she flies home with the Snowbirds

Jasmine Francoeur: “To fly out here, fly into my hometown, it’s very special and I feel very lucky”

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Most Read