The BC SPCA has partnered with Northern Lights Estate Winery to launch The Bear, a new Pinot Gris-style wine with a purpose.
The wine is made using surplus apples sourced from local properties, with the goal of deterring bears from entering developed areas in search of leftover or fallen fruit. In addition to protecting local bears, the BC SPCA will receive $2 from each bottle sold to help animals in need across the province.
Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA, said the initiative is a creative example of how individuals and businesses can make a difference for B.C. wildlife.
“British Columbia is fortunate to have an abundance of wildlife, including both black bears and grizzly bears,” Daniell said. “But, as urban development expands into wild animal habitats, bear encounters have become a normal part of life, with tragic consequences for the bears.”
In the fall, as bears prepare for hibernation, they need to build up fat to survive the winter. They seek out easily accessed foods, including compost, garbage and fruit trees.
“Unfortunately, these food sources bring bears and people closer together,” Daniell said. “Over time, bears may lose their natural fear of people and start to associate people with food. Sadly, hundreds of ‘problem’ bears end up being killed by conservation officers in B.C. every year.”
The BC SPCA reminds individuals to do their part in keeping B.C. bears safe by being aware of the following attractants: ripe or fallen fruit, unsecured garbage and compost/food scraps, outdoor pet food storage, bird feeders, outdoor fridges and freezers, bee hives and chicken coops.
For more information on where to buy The Bear wine, go online to northernlightswinery.ca.