BC COS is reminding the public of the importance of managing attractants after several bears have been destroyed this year in Quesnel.
Sgt. Jeff Tyre says the bears were accessing human based attractants being garbage, bird feeders, and compost.
“Once bears access those food sources they’re very difficult to deter,” says Tyre.
“They start seeking them out and they will continue going to the same property over and over again once they’re been rewarded. They’re such an intelligent animal that you can’t break them of that habit, and once that food source is removed they can become very aggressive in pursuing that. They’ll go from a bird feeder in a tree to trying to pursue that scent possibly into a house.”
COS according to Tyre has no choice then but to step in with the escalation in behavior.
“The key is attractant management right from the get-go,” says Tyre.
“Don’t have those attractants out there, the bears don’t get that learned behavior and then nobody has to take action and we can just enjoy them in that natural setting.”
BC COS will be conducting attractant management audits this summer in Bella Coola going door to door identifying attractants. While no audits are planned for Williams Lake and Quesnel, Tyre says they will do their best to talk to people in specific areas with attractant issues and notes that fines can be issued.
“If we can avoid the whole situation ahead of time by managing those attractants in the end less bears will be killed,” says Tyre.
“That’s the end goal.”