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Kelowna  

Brace for bears

Alanna Kelly

Bear sightings in the Okanagan Valley are expected to increase over the next few weeks and residents need to do their part.

North Okanagan conservation officer Terry Myroniuk says it has been a fairly normal year for human-wildlife conflicts.

“It is the usual conflict calls we get about bears in garbage or accessing fruit,” he said.

Officers are reminding residents to make sure garbage and fruit are not accessible to bears.

“They are really going to ramp up their food-seeking activity so it is going to be very, very important in the next few weeks to be very diligent to make sure there is no garbage, no nuts, no fruits for them,” he said.

Myroniuk said there have been sightings in the interface areas such as Rutland, Southeast Kelowna and Black Mountain already.

“Most people get it, but it only takes one or two people who don’t get it to create big concerns,” he said.

Kelowna is behind in regards to preventative measures, according to Myroniuk.

“Primarily with bear-resistance garbage cans,” he said. “Our garbage cans aren’t bear resistant and other communities do have them and they have been shown to reduce conflicts.

“I’d like to see us move in that direction.”

If residents want more information they can visit this link or if they spot a bear they can contact 1-877-952-7277.



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