Bears are Awake and Looking for Food

Bear & Cub - den

The official start of spring coincides with the season of renewed wildlife activity. Warmer weather means Black Bears in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys are emerging from their winter denning, looking for calorie-rich meals after months of fasting. Extra caution should be taken with sows who have new cubs.

Bears can smell five times better than a dog. Rats and raccoons are also well adapted to smell and locate possible food sources. Convenient and unnatural food sources can draw wildlife into communities and create safety concerns for people and animals.

To avoid attracting bears and critters to neighborhoods:

  • Store all garbage in a secure area, preferably a lockable garage or shed.
  • Wash all food and recyclable containers thoroughly before placing in bins or leaving out for depot drop-off.
  • Freeze potentially smelly leftovers or scraps, especially meat and fish, and deposit in a garbage container just prior to placing at the curb for pick-up.
  • Remove bird feeders. Birdseed is a high-calorie snack for a hungry bear.
  • Place garbage at the curb ONLY on the morning of pick-up.

Please report wildlife in conflict to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 by calling 1-877-952-7277. You can also report bear, cougar, coyote, or wolf sightings in urban areas. Wildlife sightings are uploaded daily to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP). This program allows you to see the wildlife that has been reported in your neighborhood, and will also alert you to new sightings.

We all need to do our part to reduce conflicts with wildlife, to keep wildlife wild and our communities safe.