Bears will be more active in the next two weeks, making the need to secure attractants even more crucial for a safe Fall, for both, bears and humans.
In an update to the bear activity in the Maple Ridge area, WildsafeBC coordinator Dan Mikolay wrote, “Here’s an update of bear activity in Maple Ridge. Historically, the next two weeks are the busiest time as bears are searching for calories until the salmon start to run. So far some salmon have started coming upstream thanks to the cooler weather and rain which is great. There are a couple of hot spots, however, if we eliminate household attractants we could have a very good Fall.”
He also said that so far this year, there was one bear put down in Golden Ears Park and none in the city of Maple Ridge. One bear was also relocated.
WildSafeBC is now reminding the community to be extra careful about any attractants and said that bears that spent time in communities seeking food were more likely to get injured, struck by vehicles or killed. It also impacts the safety of our neighbourhoods, they said.
According to WildSafe BC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program – WARP, so far in September alone, there have been 34 reports of black bears in Maple Ridge and seven in Pitt Meadows. Of the 34 instances in Maple Ridge, 13 were determined to be due to the bears lured in by garbage.
On Sept. 15, a young bear was seen wandering the streets in Pitt Meadows, after it was allegedly lured into the community when it came across an accessible compost in the backyard of a residence. A local bear advocate escorted the bear safely out of the city however, the incident sparked a debate in the community over steps that residents need to take to avoid human-bear conflict.
WildSafe BC has shared some tips to remind residents to take measures in order to avoid any such conflict.
- Take action by securing your garbage either by primarily storing it indoors or, if needed, in a bear-resistant container.
- Containers stored outdoors should be secured to a solid object with chain or cable so that a bear cannot drag it away.
- Remember, never to set carts out the night before collection as that is when bears are most actively foraging for foods.
City of Maple Ridge has laid out a fine structure for failing to secure attractants. There is a $500 fine for not putting garbage containers indoors, a $500 fine for taking your trash out before 5 a.m., $400 for attracting wildlife, $500 for feeding wildlife and $300 for not removing fallen fruits.
City of Pitt Meadows also insists that residents set out their garbage and green carts on collection day between 5:30 and 8 a.m., and to remove all solid waste containers, once emptied, from the public street or lane, within twelve hours of the collection on the collection date. Those not complying with the bylaws, could be fined by the city.
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