Wildlife Aware hopes to evolve into year round program

It’s not just bears anymore; or even deer, there are raccoons, skunks and more

Shaunna McInnis of East Kootenay Wildlife Aware visited Kimberley City Council this week, bringing along information about her program and advising Council that she would be approaching them for funding at a later date.

She explained that the Wildlife Aware program evolved from Bear Aware as urban wildlife problems changed.

“Bear Aware grew in the late 1990’s when Kimberley was in a bear crisis mode similar to what we now face with deer,” she said. “And while bear and deer are still the most visible in most towns, there are skunks in Cranbrook, raccoons in Kimberley. And there are cougars — there have been lots of sightings lately.”

It is because there are so many different types of wildlife in many municipalities at present that Bear Aware had to broaden its approach, she said. And she is hoping to find enough funding to operate a longer season.

“Starting in late May and finishing in autumn does meet the needs,” McInnis said. “There are still bears active now.

“Ideally the program would run year round with long term financial commitment from several communities.”

The major problem is still attractant, garbage being the major one. McInnis believes that the availability of a steady food source (garbage) may be what’s preventing bears from hibernating earlier.

“If they have a steady food source, they won’t go to sleep,” she said. “They are finding cases of bears not going to sleep at all in Whistler.”

Another surprise attractant in Kimberley, especially for cougars, is chickens.

“There are lots of chickens in town. They are not allowed but they are there. Chickens are huge as far as attractant go. There are also bees.”

But the biggest issue is garbage.

“Garbage is such a huge attractant. The problem with garbage is getting worse with deer and even raccoons.”

McInnis believes that the problem could be solved by bear proof bins like Canmore provides. these bear proof dumpsters are placed throughout the City and residents take their garbage to them rather than set it out for curbside collection.

“In the 13 years that Canmore has had communal bins, they haven’t had a single incident. Kimberley’s trucks are equipped to use these bins,” she said.

Just Posted

Kimberley Camera Club hosting slide show presentation

The Kimberley Camera Club is proud to announce the public showing of… Continue reading

Ktunaxa Nation holds first language summit since 2011

The language summit coincides with the youth’s, allowing for trans-generational transfer of knowledge

Kimberley Dynamiters are Kootenay Conference Champs

It took triple overtime to put away the Beaver Valley Nitehawks

Lilith 2019 raises $8,270 for Kimberley, Cranbrook communities

Next year marks the event’s 20th anniversary.

Fuel management work started in Kimberley

Residents will see smoke over next few months; please obey trail notifications

Dynamiters keep their winning streak going

Nitros beat out the Nitehawks 4-3 in game two of the Conference finals.

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Sailings cancelled after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Most Read