Bears now emerging from hibernation

It’s that time of year when bears start to poke their heads out of their dens in search of food and water.

Provincial Coordinator for WildSafeBC, Frank Ritcey says that over the past few weeks there have been several reports of bears throughout the lower half of the province.

According to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), no bears have been reported in the Kimberley area so far.

Ritcey says that at this time of year bears start to emerge from hibernation to stretch their legs, get a drink of water, and they will typically head back to their den for a few more weeks.

“From now until the end of April is when bears will come out of hibernation, but most of them will tend to stay out towards the end of April,” Ritcey said. “In certain parts of the province, like along the coast where winter is mild and the weather is good, bears don’t necessarily hibernate at all. Especially the males. If their food sources are abundant there is no need for them to hibernate.”

Ritcey explained that when bears do come out of hibernation, first and foremost they are in search of water.

“They don’t tend to feed heavily right away, because they haven’t eaten in four months or so,” said Ritcey. “It’s not like in the summer when they are constantly eating. They will sort of poke around, take a look around, and if there isn’t enough food available they will go back in to hibernation.”

Although it is important to secure your garbage from wildlife all year round, Ritcey says it is especially important in the spring.

“You don’t want to let the bears start off on the wrong foot,” Ritcey explained. “If they come out of hibernation only to get into human food and garbage, they will be more likely to return to those places for the rest of the season.”

Ritcey says it’s equally as important to make sure to take your bird feeders down in the spring as well.

“Many people feed the birds in the winter, and sometimes forget to take down their feeders come spring,” said Ritcey. “Bird seed contains a lot of calories, which is what the bears will be looking for.”

WildSafe BC stats say that garbage accounts for 60 per cent of their calls regarding bears. They recommend the following to ensure the safety of both humans and wildlife:

* Store garbage in a secure building until collection day or consider purchasing a bear-resistant household container.

* Ensure bins are tightly closed.

*Regularly wash all recycling items and clean the bins that contain garbage or recycling.

*Do not leave garbage in the back of a truck, even if it has a Canopy.

*If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning go collection.

The City of Kimberley also has a bylaw which states garbage bins are not to be put out before 5a.m. on the morning of collection.

WildSafe BC also says it’s important to feed pets indoors, to keep a healthy compost free of fish, meat, fat, oils, un-rinsed eggshells or any cooked food, to regularly clean barbecues after use, and always pick fruit trees as they ripen (do not allow windfall to accumulate on the ground).

For more information, visit the WildSafe BC Website.

Just Posted

Cranbrook RCMP respond to fatal canoe incident at Moyie Lake

A young man died after a canoe overturned in the lake early Tuesday morning

Plenty of misinformation spreading on Draft Caribou Plan, Wildsight says

The environmental group Wildsight is advocating for the proposals put forward in… Continue reading

MLA Report: Caribou Recovery – Regrets and Regression

Doug Clovechok, MLA Columbia River - Revelstoke Last week, the residents of… Continue reading

News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Submitted by Marilee Quist At our April 16th, we met at the… Continue reading

Special Olympic athletes work on public speaking

The Kimberley/Cranbrook Special Olympics had two athletes build up their public-speaking skills

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Most Read