With spring now in full swing, bears have begun to wake up from hibernation and will be searching for a snack.
WildSaf BC officials said black bears should be eating natural food sources, such as young grasses, sedges and occasionally skunk cabbage.
However, some bears have learned of an easier source of calorie-dense food: human garbage.
As a result, the animals can be seen roaming communities, looking for discarded food in unsecured bins.
“Bears have incredible memories and a food map that leads to them returning to areas they have successfully found food in the past,” said WildSafe. “While bears would prefer to avoid human activity and feed on natural foods, they are often drawn in by the smell of potential food sources in our communities.”
Officials said you should be prepared to encounter a bear if you head outdoors.
“You should not assume that since you’ve never had a bear visitor in the past that you will not have one in the future,” said WildSafe. “If you’re spending time outside, always be on the lookout for bears or signs that they are in the area.”
If you are taking a walk in the woods, you should make sure to carry bear spray, and WildSafe said to check if it is expired before heading out.
There are other preparations you can do at home to make sure a bear does not stop by for a quick meal.
“If you have been feeding birds over the winter, now is a good time to consider taking down the feeders and giving them a good clean with a bleach solution. Consider setting up a bird bath instead,” said WildSafe. “Now is also a great time for spring cleaning and making sure you have a WildSafe Yard. Ensure your garbage is stored indoors if possible or in a bear-resistant container that is secured to something solid.”
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