Bear wanders into backyard in Upper Mission

Bear in Upper Mission


A Kelowna woman has shared a video of a black bear that wandered into her yard Tuesday evening.

Heather Ross, who lives on Chute Lake Crescent in Upper Mission, says she’s had bears visit her property in the past. She got an indication one might be nosing around, when she noticed a metal garbage can with a lid that she uses to store birdseed was knocked over on Monday.

“So that was the day before yesterday. And then yesterday, I was going to get dinner ready and I looked out the window and went, oh, there he is,” said Ross.

Almost every year as the animals start coming out of hibernation, they stroll through her property.

“There was one year, I don’t know if it was last year or the year before, I had to call the conservation officer because he was basically coming almost every day for a week.”

That problem bear was cinnamon coloured. The one that was in her yard Tuesday was smaller and darker, and Ross doesn’t believe she has seen it before this spring.

She says the bear wandered off when she opened the door to get a better view. However, she wants to get the word out to her neighbours because she saw the bear later that day getting into someone’s garbage can on Curlew Drive.

“I ended up getting locks for my garbage can because I’ve had bears before and I finally locked down the garbage can,” Ross added.

According to WildSafeBC, black bears are most active from April to November, but in milder climates, or where they are continuously finding food, they may not go into hibernation.

Here are some tips from WildSafeBC aimed at limiting human-wildlife conflict:

  • Do not store garbage or other organic waste outdoors. If you have curbside collection, only put the containers out on the morning of collection day – never the night before. Make sure recyclables have been cleaned.
  • Protect fruit trees with electric fencing or pick fruit early and do not let windfall accumulate. Ensure your compost is well-managed and refer to Growing in Wildlife Country
  • Avoid feeding birds when bears are most active (April to November) and ensure bird feeders are always inaccessible to non-target species such as bears, deer, squirrels and raccoons. Do not let seed accumulate that may attract rats and other rodents.
  • Feed pets indoors and keep pets inside at night.
  • Keep your barbecue clean by burning off uncooked food and emptying the grease container.

All bears that are aggressive in nature, or sightings in urban areas, should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service (1-877-952-7277).

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