Stewardship group urging proper waste management as three bears spotted at SilverStar

Three bears at SilverStar

Contributed SilverStar Bear Stewardship

At least three adult bears are finding food rewards at SilverStar.

Part of the problem? Broken fencing and a busted gate at the Silverstar Transfer Station, the local garbage depot, means bears can wander in and out as they please.

Stacey Raftus with the Regional District of North Okanagan says the district is aware of the gate issue and a contractor is currently creating a new one.

“We expect a new gate to be installed within the next couple weeks,” said Raftus in an email.

“The transfer station bin at this location does have a door, and is bear proof, but we have found that sometimes waste gets left on the ground outside of the bin – which is attracting bears to the area.”

SilverStar Bear Stewardship posted a video to its Facebook page of a bear climbing in and out of a residential garbage bin to raise awareness about bear safe waste management. Both the conservation group and the RDNO are urging residents to keep food locked up.

Some tips from the RDNO for residents to follow are:

  • Keep waste in a secured shed or garage until you can take it to the transfer station
  • Avoid stockpiling or burying waste
  • Avoid putting food waste in outdoor compost bins

The group is reminding residents that garbage is not secure on decks as bears are excellent climbers and will enter unlocked containers. People can also expect bears to find food or garbage left in cars or outside for more than an hour.

When residents don’t secure attractants, bears can become food-conditioned and habituated to humans. Often, this results in bears being put down by BC Conservation Officers as the animal is a threat to human safety.

The stewardship group is hoping residents will secure attractants and prevent these animals being put down.

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