Those of us who live here on the North Shore mountains are reminded every year of the fact that we live in bear country. Although attacks are rare, encounters with a friendly neighbourhood bear can turn dangerous – if not for us the humans, then definitely for our friends the bears.
Rumaging for garbage, picking through bird feeders and banging around about your dirty barbecue are all things that bears enjoy.
However a fed bear, is a dead bear and every year too many are killed because they become too familiar with our human surroundings and easy food pickings.
So, for the love of the animals, and the best interests of our environment, remember these tips from the North Shore Black Bear Network:
- Put your garbage out on the day of pick-up only, never overnight Store your garbage bins in a secure garage, in your home, or in a bear-proof container (wooden sheds or bin enclosures are easily damaged by bears)
- Clean your garbage bins on a regular basis with ammonia or vinegar
- Double bag smelly garbage like diapers and if necessary freeze it until pickup day
- The District of North Vancouver puts out bear proof garbage bins during bear season in pedestrian traffic areas known to have bears. The locations of these bins are shown here.
- Pick fruit from trees before it falls Bird feeders.
- Take down bird feeders during bear season; there is plenty of natural food for birds throughout the year and you can attract birds by providing a flower garden, bird bath, dusting site, or nesting boxes.
- Add lime to your compost and do not put in: Meat and fish scraps Fruit or other sweet remains Cooked or seasoned food Unrinsed eggshells Coffee grinds Food left outside. This includes pet food, outdoor fridges and freezers.
- Remember to clean your barbecue after each use.