A Maple Ridge bear named Molly by wildlife photographer Ross Davies. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)

A Maple Ridge bear named Molly by wildlife photographer Ross Davies. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)

Bear conflicts increasing in Maple Ridge

Conservation officer reminds public to keep garbage, attractants inside

Bears have emerged from their winter torpor, are more active, and are causing an increasing number of conflicts with humans, says a Maple Ridge Conservation Officer.

CO Alicia Stark is once again reminding the public they can do a lot to keep bears away from their properties. She said this is a busy time.

“The sows are waking up with new cubs, and the cubs from last year are moving away from mom,” she said, adding that the number of sightings is on the increase.

Some key things people can do are to keep their garbage inside until pick-up day, clean their barbecue after using it, don’t leave pet food outside, and don’t keep a bird feeder.

“It’s nice to have birds visit your yard, but bird seed is such an easy, high fat food source that it’s a huge attractant for bears,” she said.

Once bears have visited a property and found something to eat, the site goes into their internal GPS, and they will return in the future looking for food, she said.

For more information, see the wildsafebc.com website. It contains information about the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program, which allows the public to view reports of wildlife across the province. They are received daily from conservation officers and mapped.

READ ALSO: Man who took wild bear cubs to a Grand Forks motel may face charges

Stark would also ask that people report conflicts with bears and other wildlife to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) hotline. It is at 1-877-952-7277.

READ ALSO: B.C. man asks: Barefoot Bigfoot or just big-footed bear tracks?

• Stark said there have been numerous reports about deer spotted around Edge Street in downtown Maple Ridge.

“As with any wildlife, we ask that people don’t put food out for them.”

Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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