Hungry bears are again making their presence known in the Naramata village and surrounding areas.
Recent sightings include a mature bear helping itself to the contents of a fridge on a deck/patio in the 3200 block of First Street and a mature black bear moving through neighbourhoods and yards on Upper Debeck Road. The bear on Upper Debeck has even been spotted during the day.
"With the recent sightings it is very important that we manage our own garbage attractants, speak to our neighbours and lead by example," said Zoe Kirk, RDOS WildSafe BC community coordinator.
Kirk said it is not unusual to see bears in the late summer or early fall because they return to the lowlands, after gorging on berries higher up during the summer months.
Their main objective is to fish for spawning Kokanee, but the rich vegetation available at this time of year is also appealing.
"It is basically their last bit of fattening up before denning," said Kirk.
To avoid encounters with the large animals, Kirk recommends the following:
- Locking up garbage or freezing the smelly bits until day of pick up. At this time of year, when people are canning, she also advises freezing peelings and pits and then burying them in the compost. The freezing helps remove the smell.
- No bird feeders or feeding of ground birds.
- Pet or domestic livestock food secured and off the porch.
- Having a spray bottle of mixed bleach or ammonia spritzed on garbage bags and cans to deter animals from getting into the garbage, when placing the garbage out on the morning of pick up.
- Watching dogs more closely at dawn and dusk.
- Talking to neighbours and spreading the cautionary word.
- Further advice is to make it uncomfortable for the bears to get close to homes, by banging pots, blowing air horns and alerting neighbours.
- People are further advised to call the conservation officer if a bear become habituated to a backyard or neighbourhood.