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Bear sightings in Glenmore

 

Bears have been sighted on at least two occasions in the Glenmore area last week.

Crystal Schwientek said around 9 a.m. on Wednesday she heard her dogs barking and a thump out in the yard. She went outside and saw her garbage bin on its side and a bear running away, up onto a nearby rooftop.

Schwientek lives by Corbin's General Store in Glenmore and says she's never seen bears that close to town in 25 years. 

"My grandchildren were playing in the yard, two boys, seven-year-olds, and they came running into the house saying 'there's a bear!' I thought there's no bears in Glenmore," she said. "All of the sudden, in one week, two different sets of bears have come."

Schwientek babysits young children and she said the bears all seemed intent on getting into the garbage and recycling bins. "I moved the garbage quite a ways away from that spot, and the bears still came back," she said.

She said the second time, the bear did not seem scared of humans. 

Conservation officer Sgt. Josh Lockwood said they had received one bear complaint on Wednesday near the Glen Meadows complex which borders the green belt near Knox Mountain. 

"We chased him out of the neighbourhood with a dog and he was last seen leaving into the hills into the green belt," he said. "It was the first complaint we had on him, we did not consider him a garbage-habituated bear. Once it becomes habituated to eating garbage, there are not a lot of options for us." 

Lockwood said the Glenmore area backs onto the urban interface zone which is a wildlife corridor.

"There's deer, bear, coyotes - maybe people haven't seen them because they have proper garbage maintenance and as long as they do that, bears won't come in - they're only looking for a food source."

Lockwood said the easiest ways to keep bears away are to keep anything that could be a food source securely stored. 

Here are some easy tips: 

  • If you have fruit out, pick it, don't leave it on the ground 
  • Put away pet food and bird feeders
  • Lock up garbage or keep it inside somewhere
  • Encourage your neighbours to do the same

"In the city of Kelowna, we've had very few bear issues this year considering the population of the city and the amount of domestic garbage," said Lockwood. "The spring was a success, we did not have to destroy a single bear in the City of Kelowna."
 

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