Black bears (Ursus americanus) have been reported accessing garbage and bird feeders in multiple areas of the city.
Of note, there is bear activity occurring throughout Rose Valley and Bartley North, in Glenrosa between Turnbull and Yorkton Roads, and in Shannon Lake around the Crystal Springs Mobile Home Park.
It is vital bears do not have access to unnatural foods so that they move on, and your neighbourhood, as well as the bears, will be safer as a result.
We wanted to alert you to this situation and encourage you and your neighbours to secure all attractants that may lead to conflict with these bears, and other wildlife. That includes removing birdfeeders, storing garbage securely and waiting until the morning of collection day to place out.
Under Section 2.2.3 of the City of West Kelowna’s Solid Waste Management Bylaw 0065, you must only put out garbage, yard waste and recyclables between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the day of collection. You should also be aware that it is an offence under the BC Wildlife Act section 33.1 to attract dangerous animals (bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes) with unsecured attractants.
Please use WildSafeBC’s Top 10 Ways to Help Wildlife to keep the community safe and the wildlife wild:
- Keep your garbage secure – store it indoors, in a secure shed, or in a bear-resistant enclosure.
- Only put your garbage/yard waste/recyclables out on collection day - never the night before.
- Manage your fruit trees so that fruit is picked as it ripens, and no windfall accumulates.
- Bring bird feeders in from April through November – and when they are out, ensure that the ground underneath is kept free of seeds.
- Feed pets indoors.
- Maintain your compost so that it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. Never add meat or dairy.
- Protect fruit trees, beehives and small livestock with properly installed & maintained electric fence.
- Respect wild animals by not feeding them. Food-conditioned wildlife are more likely to come into conflict.
- Keep barbecues clean and odour free.
Report any wildlife in conflict or bear, cougar or wolf sightings in the community to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 at 1.877.952.7277. These reports are uploaded daily to WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program: wildsafebc.com/warp
For more information on reducing human-wildlife conflict visit wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Central Okanagan on Facebook, or contact myself, your local WildSafeBC Community Coordinator Meg Bjordal at email@example.com.