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Bear Activity Up In The Cariboo

Cariboo Conservation Officer Service said it’s been a busier than normal year for bear activity in the 100 Mile House and Williams Lake area.

Inspector for the Thompson Cariboo Region, Len Butler, said it’s been even busier in one particular Cariboo community

“Quesnel has been, basically at a level now for the last few years, especially this year, that our bear complaints are off the wall. So we’ve had a real increase in the number of complaints and bars in the area which has been somewhat frustrating because, as usual, most if not all complaints are the result of improperly stored garbage, fruit trees, and dumping of any kind of waste.”

Butler said the C-O Service is not the garbage police, if it’s a continuous problem of garbage in a neighborhood they will be issuing more Dangerous Wildlife Protection Orders and possibly charging.

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He noted that it’s important that people manage their attractants and clean up the area which gives Cariboo Conservation Officer Service a better opportunity if they have to deal with a problem bear that becomes habituated.

Butler said they can’t sustain responding to every call because of garbage or unpicked fruit so it’s important for people and neighbors to help each other.

We asked Butler if this summer’s wildfire activity contributed to having bears come into communities.

“Our region goes right down to Kamloops and we know what happened in that area this year with wildfires and around 100 Mile House again. There was an increase in Kamloops and 100 Mile and we think that probably does have a direct effect.” Butler said, “We saw that in 2017 and 2018 in the Quesnel area, an increase in bears.”

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