Wet Summer causes higher Black Bear sighting in the Northwest

Divya Gill 

The Northwest has seen a lot more than usual sighting of black bear animals in and around residential areas. The concern is why.
Since April 2020, B-C Conservation Officer Zane Testawich said Terrace has seen three hundred-75, Kitimat one hundred-62, Prince Rupert 14 and Thornhill 29.
Testawich said because the summer months were very wet, the berries did not develop and water heights on the river were too high resulting in the bears not being able to catch the fish.
"So those Bears that normally eat those berries and then get to the fish areas are now moving in to residential areas and the reason they’re moving in is because people have unsecured garbage, we haven’t picked our fruit trees, we continue to compost and we continue to put out feed for bird. And those are all attractant that need to be secured."
As we enter the fall weather Testawich urges residents to start picking the fruit off their trees to prevent bears from coming in.
"If the bear is just being a bear and passing through that’s a good thing, that way we can educate the people of the area. So now, we want to start talking to them about attractant management. They’ve seen the bear, lets just make sure our garbage is secure our recycling and compost is out of the way and well have that conversation with the neighbours. That way word of mouth gets each person on the street or residential area to attend to his or her own particular area and chat with their neighbour."
If a pattern of bears becomes persistent, Conservation officers can find out why the bear is in the area and take the necessary measure to protect the community. However, they also urge all residents to call the RAP line for any wild animal sighting.

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