FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the Labour Day long weekend coming up, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to be “bear aware.”
According to Deputy Chief Chris Doyle, bears are at the stage where they are trying to pack on as many calories as possible before hibernation, resulting in more contact with humans.
Doyle explained that in order to limit interactions with bears, residents will need a plan regarding their ripe fruit and accessible trash cans.
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“We’re asking people to have a plan, pick ripe fruit or protect their fruit trees or livestock with an electric fence if possible,” said Doyle. “As always garbage and other attractants should also not be accessible to bears.”
Doyle added that residents who negligently store attractants could face charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act.
With the long weekend on the horizon, many campsites will be full, so residents will need to store food properly when finished cooking.
“We’re urging campers to not leave food or garbage unattended in their campsite where bear-proof lockers are available. If you can’t do those, lock food or garbage in a vehicle as a last resort.”
“Please just don’t be that camper that puts the bear or other campers in peril by attracting them to the campsite.”
Over the past two weeks, there have also been two reported cougar attacks in B.C. In both cases, the victims survived but residents must be cautious when venturing into the wilderness.