Greater Trail bucking the bruin trend

Bear complaints are up across B.C. but down locally, says Rossland/Trail WildsafeBC

Greater Trail appears to be bucking a provincial-wide trend when it comes to bear complaints this year.

Chris Doyle, deputy chief with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says officers received 8,900 calls about black bears between April 1 and Aug. 1 of this year, up from 4,900 such complaints during the same period in 2016.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case locally.

“So far this year we’re lower than the last few years,” said Desiree Profili, Rossland-Trail WildsafeBC community coordinator.

“In May, June and July our bear sightings have actually been lower. But coming into the fall I can’t say one way or the other. But so far we’ve been pretty good.”

Doyle said most of the calls around the province are about bears getting into human “attractants,” like garbage or fruit trees in developed areas.

But again, the local residents are adhering to Profili’s preaching about attractants.

“People are keeping their attractants where they need to be,” she agreed. “People are doing a better job and we have to keep doing a better job.”

She added just because sightings are down this year it doesn’t mean there haven’t been any bears spotted in the area.

“We’ve had some issues, some in East Trail and a couple out in Glenmerry. So the bears are still there. But it could just be that this spring there happened to be more wild fruit around than in other areas of the province.

“But with this dry heat and if it continues to stay dry we will probably see an increase in the fall because of the fruit.”

With files from CP