WildSafe BC – formerly known as Bear Aware – saw a slow start to autumn wildlife activity reports, until September. Updates and mapping for bears, cougars and coyotes are now being recorded through the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program –W.A.R.P. – online at wildsafebc.com/warp.
“It seemed to come all at once,” said Sharon Wieder, WildSafe BC Community Coordinator for Rossland and Trail. “When the huckleberries got rained out, bears started to show up.”
In Rossland, black bear reports identify activity north and south of Columbia Avenue, east of Monty Christo Street. A black bear has been reported in east Trail, close to Columbia River residences. Although there were grizzly sightings in the spring, the fall has been quiet. But, Wieder says they are still around.
The black bears reported have a huge appetite, as they need to add on 30 percent of their weight to prepare for this winter’s hibernation. Garbage is their number one attractor, with fruit trees a close second. Making both unavailable is recommended.
People are asked to pick fall fruit and use, donate or share it with others, or check out local fruit-pressing events.
“Dumping fruit is against the Wildlife Attractant By-law in Rossland,” explained Wieder, adding people can be fined.
People can contact WildSafe’s Harvest Rescue program in Trail or Rossland to explore donating their unwanted fruit. Also, Kate’s Kitchen, the Salvation Army kitchen in Trail, can be asked about food donations. For all other unwanted or unusable fruit, the landfill sites take organic waste for a small fee per load.
WildSafe BC has also had a rattlesnake report in Trail, and a coyote report in the Rossland. Pet owners are advised to feed and keep pets indoors – especially at night. They also recommend chickens in back yards be protected with an electric fence.
WildSafe BC is using its Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/wildsafebc, for updates, alerts and advice. A recent post asks drivers and cyclists to be aware of snakes, as they are active this time of year. Another post features a video on cougars. There is also a great photo of a bear paw print compared to a hand, and how to decide what type of bear it is.
Citizens are encouraged to report problem wildlife or bears in urban areas by calling 1-877-952-7277. WildSafe BC is a British Columbia Wildlife Foundation initiative and will soon include all the Bear Aware information on its updated website.