Penticton and South Okanagan
Bears a Naramata nuisance
Sep 4, 2013 / 4:36 pm
Naramata residents are being reminded to only take out their trash during the morning of pick up, after garbage was found strewn across a road early Monday morning.
The culprit is believed to be a black sow and cub, which had been spotted eating out of local garbage cans late Saturday evening. The following night, Wildsafe BC Community Coordinator Zoe Kirk conducted a garbage audit and found more than 15 homes had placed waste outside. By Monday morning, several more homes had their garbage spread across local roads.
“The old adage that a fed bear is a dead bear is especially true in this case,” says Kirk.
“A mother sow will teach her young about available food sources. A young bear trained to search out garbage is a high risk to humans and will generally be put down.”
Kirk believes homeowners have become complacent thinking that bears are not in Naramata and that garbage can be left out unprotected overnight. Bears also come to the area in late August to eat both fresh fruit and spawning Kokanee salmon -- garbage is just an additional attractant that bears will scavenge if available.
Before the rule change six or more bears were destroyed in Naramata each year, but since requiring residents to place garbage out on the day of collection, and in bear-resistant carts of enclosures, only one sickly bear has been destroyed in the past three years.
“We can’t change the fact bears will eat garbage when available,” says Kirk. “But we can change people’s habits so that bears, children and other residents are not put at risk.”
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