Friday, April 13, 2018

As warmer weather arrives, wildlife encounters will increase; BC Conservation advise on what you need to know

The arrival of Spring will soon find a range of once slumbering animals on the move and in some cases their travels may bring them into contact with those of us that make use of British Columbia's wilderness, and in some cases there  may even be a home visit or two that we will hear about.

So far, there have been no reports of Bear sightings in the Prince Rupert area, but in along the Highway 16 corridor the first accounts of the first rumblings have started to come in.

Towards those reports, the BC Conservation Service is taking a proactive approach to information sharing with the public offering up a range of suggestions on how you can reduce your chances of an encounter and an impact on the lives of the wildlife of the region.

The BCCS Bear Smart program provides for a large amount of material to help address the root cause of human - bear conflicts and reduce the risk to human safety and property.

Among the items of note for our review:

Be A Bear Smart Community

"Bear Smart" Community Program: Background Report

Who's Who: Know Your Bears

The Bear Smart program has been providing a number of British Columbia communities with official "Bear Smart" status in the last few years, you can review the list of those that have taken the steps to make their community safer here.

Key to keeping your property off the radar for a wandering member of the Ursidae family,  some things to keep in mind around the house is to secure your garbage in sturdy cans, or a shed, keep pet food inside, make sure that your BBQ is clean and not making for an area for exploration.

Some other facts about conflicts between bears and humans can be found from the Wild Safe BC website.

Last year provided for a few bear sightings in the Prince Rupert area, with a couple of aggressive bear reports made to the BCCS offices, those calls resulted in Conservation Officers travelling to Prince Rupert from their Terrace offices to put in place Bear traps a few times during 2017.

Such was the flurry of reports of one year ago, that a bear tracker program was created by Prince Rupert resident Dave McKeever to follow the bear (or bears) on their travels through the city.

Should you have a Bear encounter the Conservation Service asks that you Report the incident through their Report online service available here.

To contact the Program call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP)  

Incidents of potential peril to life can also be called into the local RCMP detachment so that local officials are aware of the situation and can address the issues if required.

More notes of the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

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