West Kelowna  

Big time bear activity

Rob Gibson

As we head into fall, there has been plenty of bear action in the Okanagan.

A black bear was spotted trotting down Campbell Road in West Kelowna on Thursday and seemed quite content to use the main road until traffic from both directions forced it to find another route.

B.C. Conservation Officer Ken Owens tells Castanet: "We have lots of bears in the city of West Kelowna currently, and we need the public's help to keep wildlife wild."

Owens says the main cause of human-bear conflicts is food – "When a bear starts associating people with food, the chance for conflict and risk to public safety rises."

"Bear activity intensifies during the fall, when bears are bulking up for hibernation, and garbage is the number one attractant. People are advised to be very careful with their garbage, especially at this time of year."

Bears account for about 20,000 calls to the Conservation reporting line every year – and even though the cause of the problem is usually people, often it's the bear that must face the consequences.

In B.C. it's an offence to feed or leave attractants available to dangerous wildlife.

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