With spring arriving in full force now, we're seeing more and more black bear activity both here on Grouse Mountain and in the Great Vancouver Region as a whole. With this in mind we thought we'd go over a few good reminders about being bear aware around your own house and neighborhood.
This is the time of year when many black bears are wandering in search of food - which means it's also a time when many get into trouble as they search out new territories and new food supplies. It's important that we do our part to make sure they do not have an easy route to getting any inappropriate food and that they stay out of trouble overall.
Here are some tips to being a good Bear Aware neighbor:
- Keep your household garbage, compost and recycling bins inside a garage or shed until the morning of collection and then only place them curbside shortly before pick-up and if you are in an area of high bear activity then bear-proof garbage bins are highly recommended
- If you have any particularly fragrant items for disposal (used diapers, leftovers of meat or fish etc.) consider placing them in air tight bags in your freezer until the morning of pick-up
- Keep your garbage, compost and recycling bins clean and odor free by washing frequently with a vinegar or mild bleach solution
- If you live in an area with high bear activity make sure doors and windows are not left open unattended during warmer weather - hungry bears will enter to check out food or pet food odors
- Bears also are attracted to paint cans - strangely enough. So be sure these attractants are kept in a cupboard or up high and in a locked garage to prevent any issues
- Keep barbecues clean after each use to reduce odor attraction
- Keep bird feeders with only a small amount of seed and top up more frequently. If large amounts of seed are left the bears will attempt to get into it. Feeders can also be placed in a hard to reach area for bears
- When your fruit trees or shrubs start to shed their fruits make sure to clean up regularly to prevent the fruit from attracting bears
- If you do see bears around you can scare them away (from a safe distance) by shouting or banging loud items (garbage can lids etc.). Bears should never be fed or encouraged to hang out near humans as this can only lead to bad results - for the bear!
If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to us here at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife - we're always happy to help!