This black bear is eating natural food. Keep bears wild - store garbage securely.

This black bear is eating natural food. Keep bears wild - store garbage securely.

Nelson still has long way to bear awareness

Conservation officers and compliance and enforcement officers issued 12 dangerous wildife protection orders in the city at the end of May

It’s clear that Nelson still has a long way to go towards cleaning up its wildlife attractants.

Conservation officers and compliance and enforcement officers issued 12 dangerous wildife protection orders in the city at the end of May. Overall, officers found that 23 per cent of the properties inspected had garbage and other wildlife attractants available on their property. This is nearly one in four properties that are not yet managing their attractants properly.

Officers inspected 175 properties and found 40 with unsecured garbage on site.

Additionally, three properties had other attractants available such as pet food, a cooler containing food and bird seed. All residents issued with a dangerous wildife protection order had cleaned up the attractant when officers returned to inspect the property. Officers also found, but did not audit, fruit trees and compost which are also major bear attractants in Nelson.

Garbage, unpicked fruit and compost brings bears, as well as skunks, raccoons, coyotes, rats and other animals close to homes. The City of Nelson has a wildlife attractant bylaw that regulates the presence of bear attractants in the city.

Bear Aware will be out tagging garbage left out on the curb overnight with bright yellow “bear attractant” stickers and visiting homes to remind people to manage garbage.   Residents are asked to store garbage indoors or in a secure shed, use bear-resistant cans, or freeze the smellier food items until garbage is collected.

To learn more about identifying and managing bear attractants near your home visit bearaware.bc.ca or email Joanne Siderius, the area Bear Aware community coordinator, at nelson@bearaware.bc.ca.