Gina Karens enjoys having company – just not the big black furry kind that shows up with early-morning breath.
When the Annable resident opened her front door just before 8 a.m. Thursday morning, standing so close to her stoop that she could feel its warmth, was a very large black bear.
Karens is quick to say the bear moved on after a verbal scolding as she backed away from the door – but as much as she loves animals including bruins, she doesn’t want to see it back.
“The bears are usually out late at night, ” said Karens. “But you don’t expect to see one early in the morning when people are out and getting ready for work,” she added. “But this one was so close I could smell its breath, and it didn’t seem concerned at all that I was there.”
Her tidy home doesn’t have a large garden or fruit trees, all Karens tends to are a few tomato plants just outside her front door.
“He was checking those out,” she said. “After I yelled at him he did leave, and I did let my neighbour across the street know to look out for him.”
The sighting serves as a good reminder that food sources in the wild are beginning to dry up, so the bears may be back looking for an easy pickings.
“Although animal activity was busy early on, it has slowed a bit in the heat as berries and other natural foods become more available in the wild,” says Desiree Profili, Rossland/Trail WildsafeBC coordinator. “Both Warfield and Rossland had similar bear activity early on in the season and the biggest attractants in all three communities were garbage, compost and birdseed.”
Profili says people are generally very receptive to the information being provided about storing garbage, taking down bird feeders during summer months, keeping pets on leashes and pet food inside.
“As we progress into the fall months and fruit continues to ripen the main message is manage your trees – pick your fruits and nuts and keep them stored inside where wildlife can not access any of it,” she added. “As well if people have back yard chickens or composts properly installing electric fencing will keep wildlife out of your yard.”
While bears are a major concern, Profili reminds the public about other animals.
“We need to work to keep all wildlife wild, because while deer, elk, raccoons and coyotes seem less threatening than bears they can all be very aggressive, cause property damage and injuries if they become habituated.”