Pioneer file photo

Pioneer file photo

By Crystal Leonard

WildSafeBC Co-ordinator

Wildlife Sightings in and around our communities:

Invermere:

Black bear sow and cub were seen at around

5 a.m. in the 1400 block of 18th Street.

Black bear consuming garbage beside a house in the 1300 block of 17th Street.

Black bear consuming bird seed in the 1500 block of 10th Avenue.

Black bear visiting many garbage bins in the

residential area of the Wilder Subdivision.

Radium:

Black bear was on a residents deck consuming

garbage on Highway 93/95.

With Halloween having occurred last week, it is important to make sure you properly dispose of all your pumpkins so they are not an easy meal for a bear. This year there has been a significant increase in bears in town over previous years. These bears have been accessing garbage, rotting fruit and bird feeders.

On a positive note, this fall there has been a significant decrease of garbage bins being left on the curbside the night before pickup.

During garbage raids last week, there were three garbage bins on the curbside the night before collection day. This has decreased from over 30 bins found during one week in summer.

Although this is great news, there are still far too many residents leaving garbage bins beside their house, in their carport or even on the edge of their property line.

First of all, a garbage bin stands no chance against a bear unless its been certified by a testing facility as being bear-resistant. Bungee cords, rocks on lids or any other retrofit on your garbage bin wont stop a bear.

Your garbage bin should be in a garage or shed so it doesnt entice a hungry bear to visit your doorstep or patio. Even if there is no garbage in your bin, bears have learned that they may possibly get food from them, so a bin might be a visual cue that will lure a bear onto your property.

Last week, there were birdfeeders accessed by bears. Bird seed and sugar water is an easy high energy meal for a bear. The scary thing is that most people put bird feeders on their patio, which is an invitation for a bear to climb to your deck and then the bear gets rewarded for doing this.

Bears can climb any wooden structure, including the side of your house. For all you birders out there, myself included, birdbaths, birdhouses, deciduous trees, snags or dead trees, and colourful flowers are some great ways to keep birds in your yard. There are some great resources and options out there to attract birds without attracting bears. WildSafeBC recommends that people take their birdfeeders down from March until late November. For those who refuse to take birdfeeders down, theres always the option of electric fences, which wont harm the birds but are quite effective in deterring bears.

Crystal Leonard is the WildSafeBC Community Co-ordinator and can be contacted at 250-688-0561,

invermere@wildsafebc.com or radium@wildsafebc.com.