Bear activity on the rise; extra vigilance required as bears search for food

With summer coming to a close, the District of Squamish and Conservation Officer Service are alerting residents to an increase in bear activity. Despite continuing efforts to avoid this outcome, a bear was euthanized on Monday in Squamish as it had become food conditioned and habituated to humans, representing a serious threat to public safety.

Bears are already increasing their search for food sources in an effort to fatten up for hibernation, and have been sighted accessing fruit trees and garbage in most neighbourhoods.

Please immediately adopt the following attractant management best practices in an effort to ensure neighbourhoods remain safe and bears remain wild:

  • Domestic fruit trees are not a natural food source for bears and allowing them access to the fruit encourages human habituation and a reliance on human-generated food. Pick fruit as it ripens or pick un-ripened fruit and allow it to ripen indoors.  Consider using a portable electric fence to protect your harvest.
  • Garbage and organics totes should be stored in a secure location such as a garage if at all possible. If stored outdoors, totes should remain locked at all times and unlocked and placed curbside only on the morning of collection.
  • Reduce odours by freezing odorous food scraps and rinsing all recycling.

We are a Bear Smart community. Let's follow through on our commitment to reducing human-bear conflicts by managing our attractants.

Enforcement of unlocked totes and other attractants is being pursued by District Bylaw Officers over the coming days and weeks.

View the Wildlife Attractant Bylaw No. 2053, 2009 here.

Find more information on living with bears throughout the season here.

September 13, 2018

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