So far, no bears destroyed in Kamloops
Bearing in mind the situation a few years back, it is getting better.
“There haven’t been any [bears] destroyed this year yet in Kamloops,” said Tristan Hopkins, Bear Aware co-ordinator for Kamloops.
Last year, five bears were destroyed.
Bears are typically destroyed when they are habituated to humans or food.
Because bruins are overly protective of their space, they become a high risk when entering the community.
“There hasn’t been more than five bears destroyed [in a year] since 2004,” Hopkins said.
In 2003, there were 1,554 reports and 35 bears destroyed due to the severity of the wildfires.
“Rain, forest fires and droughts can influence [reports and destruction of bears],” he said.
The Bear Aware program was created to educate residents about how to prevent the animals from being attracted to homes and yards.
“There have been less bears destroyed [with the implementation of Bear Aware],” Hopkins said, noting the biggest contributor to attracting bears is poorly managed garbage.
He said people also tend to forget about other attractants, such as pet food, bird feeders and ripened fruit on trees.
Residents who put their garbage on the curb before 4 a.m. and residents who accumulate or improperly store bear attractants can be fined $100 fine under a city bylaw, which regulates such activities between April and November.
For those who encounter a bear, Hopkins advises giving it as much space as possible.
As well, people can learn more on the Bear Aware website (bearaware.bc.ca).
Although no bears have been destroyed, there have been more than 150 reports of problem bears this year.
Last year, there were about 310 reports of problem bears.
“So far, it looks like we may have a bit more of a problem,” Hopkins said.
To help limit bear reports this year, Hopkins would like residents to leave their bins inside their garage or in a shed until collection time, bring in pet food and bird feeders and pick all fruit when ripe.
Additional bear deterrents include: Rinsing bins to rid them of odours, thoroughly cleaning barbecues, installing electric fencing and having well-maintained composting.
To report a bear, call 1-877-952-7277.