Bears are again making their presence known in Naramata, with several recent sightings reported.
Just this week, a resident on Naramata Road was shocked to find a large hole ripped in her garage door, apparently by a bear interested in her garbage.
"I have seen bears around, but this is the most damage," said Charlene Bender. "I'm astounded one would actually rip a hole in the garage door to get to garbage."
Bender said her son first noticed the hole, with a claw print on a portion of the door, on Thursday morning.
In addition to being distressed about the damage to the door, Bender thought she was doing everything right when it came to dealing with her garbage.
It was in a sealed container, inside the closed garage.
"I guess everyone will have to make it so they are not attracted to the area," she said.
According to the WildsafeBC website, the animals are typically afraid of humans, but certain attractants can bring them to your home and family.
Once a bear becomes used to human food sources, it may need to be destroyed.
Bear aware behaviour reduces the number of bears coming into neighbourhoods, keeping both animals and communities safe.
In regards to the recent incident, Zoe Kirk, WIldSafeBC community coordinator, offers this advice.
"Continue to be vigilant, especially neighbours in the area close by," she said. "Look around your yards and garages for pungent items lingering there since winter. Make sure they are disposed of or frozen until the morning of pick up.
I'd keep my garbage in the house until Monday morning in that neighbourhood for the next while. Call neighbours if you see the bear, to warn them. Don't give that bear a reason to return."
The website provides the following bear aware tips:
Garbage: The biggest attractant is garbage. Properly secure your garbage and keep it indoors until pick-up, or until you can bring it to your local landfill.
Compost: use finished compost, leaves, grass or wood chips to cover up fruit or other food waste in your composter. Properly care for your compost by turning it and layering it appropriately to reduce odours.
Fruit trees and grapes: Make sure to harvest fruit immediately. Remove all windfall fruit. If you own an orchard, electric fencing is encouraged. Contact the RDOS or check the phone book for electric fence contractors in the area.
Barbecues: to keep your barbecues safe, make sure they are properly cleaned, covered and don't leave utensils out overnight.
Pet food, birdfeeders and gardens are all attractants for bears. Keep your pet food securely stored indoors. Bring your birdfeeders in for the summer, supplementing them with natural flowers and birdbaths.