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Bear sightings up as harvest season nears in Rossland and Trail

Time to pluck the fruit trees as bears are starting to wander into neighbourhoods from Rossland to Trail, looking to fatten up for winter.

“Most recently there have been bears reported and seen, personally, in Warfield all along the Trail Creek drainage and right up onto the school grounds at Webster during school hours,” began Desiree Profili, from Rossland/Trail WildSafeBC. “Which is concerning.”

Reports of bears getting into unpicked fruit in Sunningdale, West Trail, upper Warfield, Glenmerry, Annable and Rossland have also been coming in.

“Fruit is ripe about three weeks early this year,” Profili said. “I have picked apples that normally ripen at the end of September that are falling off the trees ripe and sweet, as well as pears and other late ripening fruit.”

Related story here: Pick fruit to keep hungry bears at bay

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There are good things happening to help communities pick and use ripened fruit and, at the same time, keep bears at bay.

Harvest rescues from Rossland to Castlegar are planning fruit picks this fall as well as fruit press days, with dates soon to be announced.

And, if locals need help or want to volunteer to pick fruit, they can always connect through the Rossland/Trail WildSafeBC Facebook page, Profili continued.

“If people have excess fruit, please pick it and donate it to one of the food banks in Trail such as Kate’s Kitchen or the school breakfast programs.”

Bear season has been relatively quiet after a few of the animals were destroyed in Rossland early in the summer.

“For the most part, the hot July and August was very slow for bears ,” she said. “Which was the same across the province this year.”

A marked increase in sightings these past two weeks include a sow grizzly and her two cubs spotted near Red Mountain and up Old Glory.

“They are so far staying out of trouble and have moved back up away from residences,” noted Profili.

In other wildlife news, she mentioned the mountain goat that ventured into Trail last week and lodged itself under the Victoria Street Bridge.

“So as fall approaches and the conditions stay dry, please remember wildlife will be moving down for water and then heading back up to their normal habitats,” she warned. “Do not approach the wildlife and do not feed them or put water out for them. Let’s all do our part to keep wildlife wild and communities safe.”

Sheri Regnier

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