WildSafeBC organizing electric fence workshop in Maple Ridge

Urging residents and livestock owners to take ample precautions to avoid wildlife-human conflict

Conflict with bears and hobby farmers has an issue according to the Conservation Officer Service. (THE NEWS/files)

Conflict with bears and hobby farmers has an issue according to the Conservation Officer Service. (THE NEWS/files)

WildSafe B.C. is organizing an electric fence workshop in Maple Ridge this month.

On August 20, a workshop will be conducted by the Provincial Coordinator for WildsafeBC Vanessa Isnardy in Maple Ridge at the Council Chambers, 11995 Haney Place, which will focus on the importance of having electric fencing for livestock like chickens and fruit trees as standard practice.

The workshop will explain why a properly installed and maintained electric fence is a cost-effective solution to deter bears and other predators from accessing food sources such as fruits, trees, chicken coops, behives and small livestock, explained Dan Mikolay, coordinator of Maple Ridge division of WildSafeBCWe.

“We have had a few incidents this year where a bear has accessed chicken coops and barns. A properly installed electric fence could prevent the loss of livestock and property,” said Mikolay.

READ MORE: Conflict with bears still an issue on Maple Ridge hobby farms

The workshop is limited to only 20 people and to reserve a spot interested community members will need to email mapleridge@wildsafebc.com.

“At the end of this month, bears start fattening up for hibernation. It starts around the time apples are ready. The peak is mid to late September. Before the salmon run,” said Mikolay explaining why the bear activity would now be on a rise in the area.

So far this year, Mikolay said that one bear had to be put down in Golden Ears park while more bears were relocated. There have also been close calls with the livestock, for example when a sow with two cubs entered multiple coops in the area and there have been livestock killings when a bear killed a donkey and a pig.

The increase in hobby farmers and gardeners this year means additional awareness measures are needed to be put in place.

“Best advice for gardeners is to secure attractants, pick your harvest early and secure with an electric fence. Bears are usually interested in fruits but will mow down a lettuce patch,” he said.

READ MORE: Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Have a story tip? Email: priyanka.ketkar@mapleridgenews.com

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