Bears are out and about this time of year, with 15 sightings in the Greater Trail Area in just the past two weeks.
Sharon Wieder with WildSafeBC says the number of black bears reported included five sightings near Gyro Park, two in Sunningdale and more spread from Rossland to Montrose, isn’t unusual for this time of year. In fact, she expected to see more.
“I haven’t heard of a lot of sightings this year, and I am kind of surprised with the snow melting so early,” she said. “I expected to hear more, but less is a good sign. That means the bears are finding a lot of natural food, which must have sprouted earlier this year, which even with garbage around, is what they prefer to eat.”
Bird feeders and household garbage are the number one attractants for bears in residential areas, so take down the feeder and lock up your trash.
“It is always about the garbage,” she said. “Keep it locked up or keep it inside. It is really all you can do. If a bear has gotten food in a neighbourhood before, they will come back. They have amazing memories and they learn pretty quickly. Also, bird feeders. The calories in seeds are huge compared to their natural food. One kilogram of sunflower seeds is nearly 6,000 calories.”
With the nice weather upon us and a long weekend on the horizon, Weider has a few tips for people who are planning on going camping this summer, especially in light of a recent incident.
Just this past weekend, a man camping near MacKenzie, just north of Prince George, was killed by a large male black bear while sleeping outdoors at his campsite.
“It is getting to be that time of year with the long weekend coming up and people ready to go camping. The big thing, again is keeping food safe,” she said.
“I always recommend keeping food in airtight bags, especially if you are tent camping, and don’t keep any food in tents. Not even your clothes that you were wearing around the campfire. Those smells will make bears curious. They are generally not looking to eat people. This is really rare.”
It is not only bears that populate the wild areas around Trail. Wieder herself saw a coyote, along with a bear, during a recent bike ride.
“There have been cougar sightings and coyote sightings,” she said.
“I was riding my bike around Waneta Dam just last week and within a mile I saw a coyote on one side of the road, and a bear on the other. You just have to keep going. If you stop and look, they can come investigate.”