It won’t be too much longer before bears start to emerge from their dens looking for food sources.
Vanessa Isnardy, Wildsafe BC Program Manager, said now is a great time to start spring cleaning and making sure that you have a wild safe yard.
To help reduce the chance of human-wildlife conflicts Isnardy says to have a look around for any bear attractants like barbecues and freezers.
“We get reports every year of bears breaking into freezers. A normal padlock just really isn’t sufficient, it really is best to store freezers inside of a structure. Even if things are frozen bears have this incredible sense of smell, frozen or not, they will smell the food source inside.”
Isnardy noted that barbecues generate considerable grease and drippings and those are high in calories, so odorous, and so appealing to a bear that they will do short work of your barbecue and damage it so make sure you burn everything off every time you use it.
Bears Isnardy said bears can pick up scents over a kilometer away and had more advice on being bear aware especially when it comes to garbage.
“Now is a great time to have a look at your property and confirm that you don’t have any attractants out that might draw a bear in and the food reward. If you have been storing your garbage outside now’s a good time to bring it into a secure area.”
And if you don’t have curbside pickup, Isnardy said keep your garbage secured in a garage or shed until you can bring it to a transfer station, and if you do have curbside pickup to freeze smelly items and don’t put them out until collection day.
If you’ve been feeding birds over the winter Isnardy suggests you consider taking down the feeders as they attract bears as well and set up a birdbath instead during the spring, summer, and fall months.