Penticton and South Okanagan
Pumpkins, a treat for bears
Oct 31, 2013 / 4:16 pm
The coordinator for WildsafeBC is asking people who live in areas where bears are known to roam, to keep pumpkins out of reach after Halloween.
This is the time of year when the animals are foraging to add hefty fat reserves prior to hibernating for the winter, and pumpkins left to rot can attract them, according to Zoe Kirk, the RDOS WildSafeBC community coordinator.
"In the fall, bears are known to frequent neighborhoods close to wildlife corridors, fish bearing creeks and residential areas close to the edges of populated areas," she said. "So residents living in those areas are reminded to keep garbage and attractants secure until the day after garbage pick-up. That includes pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns after Halloween. For a bear a street lined with pumpkins left out on porches, patios and at curb side are unnatural smorgasbords which may draw them to the area."
The problem, said Kirk, is that once bears find the easy food source, they are likely to return again and again.
Pumpkins left to rot can also lure rats, racoons and other rodents to neighbourhoods.
"These can be peskier to deal with than the occasional bruin, and can be a factor in coyote and cougar sightings in residential areas as they look for easy rodent meals," said Kirk.
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