Bears Pay the Price for Poor Garbage Management, Officials Issue Fines
Since Aug. 1, there have been 40 reports of bears in Revelstoke. Fruit and garbage are bringing bears into the town of Revelstoke, leading to a number of frightening encounters with the large mammals and a number of bear kills, including one in the downtown.
Conservation officers had to put down eight garbage-habituated bears in Revelstoke in one week, including one very public shooting.
Encounters include a bear “feeding on a pile of buckets full of food by a dumpster” in an alley near a local restaurant. Another bear was put down after residents left garbage on a deck.
“The number one attractant is garbage,” said Maggie Spizzirri, community coordinator for Revelstoke’s Bear Aware Society. “Last year 65 percent of bear culls were due to garbage. Next to that would be fruit trees.”
Meanwhile, in Coquitlam, where a 10-year old girl was recently attacked by a bear, 25 homeowners have received $500 fines for setting their garbage out the night before pick-up. This brings the total ticket count this year to 90.
“We were shocked and disappointed to find that despite Saturday’s incident, many residents in this area still had their garbage bins placed at the curb on Sunday night,” said Stephanie Warriner, Coquitlam’s manager of environmental services. “Given the seriousness of the situation, the amount of media coverage over the weekend and the proximity of these residences to the incident site, we cannot overlook this level of disregard.”
According to city bylaws, garbage, green and recycling carts aren’t supposed to be set out before 5:30 a.m. on garbage collection day to minimize the human-bear conflict potential. Coquitlam has stepped up patrols in areas bears frequent and has raised awareness and given out more fines this year, sparking a lively exchange on Facebook and in the media.
Source: Castanet.net and Tri-City News