Bears living in the Rossland region are enjoying the last leg of hibernation before the warmer weather and familiar smells awake them from their den, according to the city’s WildSafeBC coordinator.
Though Sharon Wieder’s work doesn’t officially start up until May, she expects reports will begin to trickle in soon.
“If the snow is melted high enough up where the bears have been denning then they’ll start to come out,” she said.
“The smells will bring them out like the fresh greens—grass is what they usually eat in the spring and things are starting to green up.”
In the meantime, she’s reminding residents that it’s time to assess their animal attractants.
“The big one is the bird feeder and convincing people it’s time to put them away or at least not leave them out all the time because that will attract all kinds of animals,” she said, adding that sunflower seeds offer hungry bruins about 10 times as many calories as huckleberries.
The problem areas continue to be determined mostly by geography. In Rossland, basically anywhere is considered bear grounds, said Wieder.
“The interesting thing is that bears have their pathways, and they’ve been using the same ones for hundreds of years,” she added.
This preferred route of travel was recently mapped out in a bear hazard assessment and is also clocked regularly on the WildSafeBC website by a wildlife alert reporting map (via the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277).