Wednesday, April 21, 2010

North Shore Black Bears

Well it is about that time of the year when again we will see our friendly trash seeking North Shore bears return from their winter slumber. West Vancouver residents, and those particularly above the highway, are reminded every spring of the fact that bears share our community. While black bears are typically just a nuisance on rare occasions that neighbourhood bear can turn dangerous.

Foraging on garbage, picking through bird feeders, damaging property and licking those bits of steak off your unclean barbecue are all things that lead to our annoyance.

Bears that become accustomed to human surroundings often find themselves in a dead end confrontation with a Conversation Officer.

Black bears are not typically dangerous to an adult human. Panic calls to 911 or the Provincial ORR line are typically not warranted for a black bear that is just passing through or even taking a rest on your lawn. When you do believe a black bear is a potential treat then these resources can be called upon. I suggest your first call be to the North Shore Black Bear Network as these guys deal with local bear issues every day.

We all love to see and then talk about these lovely wild animals. So the North Shore Black Bear Network website offers some of these tips for limiting negative interactions with black bears.

- Put your garbage out on the day of pick-up only, never overnight. Store your garbage bins in a secure garage or in a bear-proof container (wooden and garden sheds or bin enclosures are easily damaged by bears)

- Clean your garbage bins on a regular basis with ammonia or vinegar. Clean and dry the bins so as to not create a chemical hazard for your trash man.

- Double bag smelly garbage like diapers and if necessary freeze it until pickup day

- Pick fruit from trees before it falls.

- Take down bird feeders during bear season; there is plenty of natural food for birds throughout the year and you can attract birds by providing a flower garden, bird bath or nesting boxes.

- Add lime to your compost and do not compose: Meat and fish scraps, Fruit or other sweet remains, including Cooked or seasoned food.

- Remember to clean your barbecue after each use.


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