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Keep tricks, treats and bears separate, reminds Maple Ridge WildSafe BC coordinator

Shares tips and suggestions to avoid human-bear conflict through Halloween
Bears can come onto people’s yards and their patios for pumpkin and candies like this bear in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, who just went for the pumpkin. (Christy Mabe/Special to The News)

Decorations for Halloween started going out in mid-September in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and by now, several houses are decked-up. However, this holiday season of candies and pumpkins, also means being extra bear aware.

According to Maple Ridge WildSafe BC Coordinator Dan Mikolay, it is crucial to stay cautious leading up to and through Halloween, and make sure nothing edible is left outside that would attract bears.

“Pumpkins should be stored inside especially in areas with a lot of bear activity,” he said, adding that people should bring them inside on Halloween night, after trick or treating is over.

Mikolay emphasized that not all bears hibernate come winter and each year they see a bear or two stay out all winter even.

ALSO WATCH: Mama bear guiding her cubs up the tree in Maple Ridge

“If there’s food available male bears could pull through all winter. Bears are still eating 20,000 calories a day,” added Mikolay.

Candy bowls for trick or treating could also serve as attractants for bears.

“Refrain from leaving a bowl of candy outside for trick or treaters. Bears have been known to raid candy bowls,” Mikolay explained, adding that people should also be refraining from fireworks as they not only frighten domestic animals but also upset wildlife.

And be extra vigilant about attractants like garbage and bird feeders, he said.

“So far no bears in the city of Maple Ridge have been killed because of habitation. With everybody’s help we can continue those results,” said Mikolay.

ALSO READ: Jaywalking bear in Pitt Meadows draws concern

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Priyanka Ketkar

About the Author: Priyanka Ketkar

Priyanka Ketkar has been a journalist since 2011 with extensive experience in community-driven news writing, feature writing, and editing.
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