This black bear wreaked some havoc on Fawn Rd. on Sept. 12. It damaged a plum tree and ate all of its fruit. (Submitted photo)

This black bear wreaked some havoc on Fawn Rd. on Sept. 12. It damaged a plum tree and ate all of its fruit. (Submitted photo)

Bears take the brunt of negative human behaviour in B.C.

Common attractants are garbage, compost piles, birdseed, pet food, berry bushes and fruit trees

By Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald

WildSafeBC has recently released data collected over a five-year period regarding human-bear interactions.

WildSafeBC grew out of the Bear Aware program and focuses on preventing conflict with wildlife through education, collaboration and community-based solutions, such as the Bear Smart Community Program.

According to the data, from 2015 to 2019 there were more than 82,000 calls to the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service (COS) regarding bears, the majority of which were black bears as they are the most commonly sighted bears in B.C. and are frequently found in residential neighbourhoods.

At 48% of those calls, an attractant was noted.

An attractant is something that draws a bear into a residential area where it has a higher chance of being involved in a human-wildlife conflict. Common attractants are garbage, compost piles, birdseed, pet food, berry bushes and fruit trees.

Black bears have unfortunately born the brunt of negative human interaction, irresponsibility and the failure to secure attractants.

From 2015 to 2019 44 black bears were translocated, which means they were moved from an area where they had become involved in human-wildlife conflict to a new location elsewhere in the province. During the same time frame of 2015 to 2019, 2,490 black bears were destroyed by COS. This number does not take into account bears that were destroyed by others in wildlife-human conflicts.

“You can help increase the safety in your community and avoid conflicts with bears by securing your attractants,” reads a statement by WildSafeBC.

“That means ensuring bears cannot access garbage, fruit, bird seed, barbeque grease, compost and anything else that can provide a food reward to a bear. If there is nothing there for a bear to eat, it will keep passing through the community to seek out natural foods elsewhere. If you are in a community with abundant natural foods, be aware of these locations and use caution or avoid them when bears are most active. Be aware, carry bear spray and keep pets under control. B.C. is wildlife country and living with bears requires all of us to live, work, play and grow in a WildSafe manner.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Residents within the coverage area of Sidney-North Saanich RCMP will have to call Central Saanich Police Services at (250) 652-4441 for non-emergency calls for parts of Tuesday, Jan. 26. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney/North Saanich RCMP dials up police in Central Saanich for help

Non-emergency outage expected to last through the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 26

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth in police custody after kitchen knife call

A knife was recovered during the arrest, no injuries reported

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read