Managing Attractants

Bears like to eat. They are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals.

Bears have a terrific sense of smell. They can smell improperly stored garbage from over a kilometre away.

Bears are incredibly smart and have fantastic memories. Once they learn they can get a meal easily from a garbage bag or can, dumpster or bird feeder, they associate those containers with an easy to get, high calorie meal.

Problem Bears

Garbage that is improperly stored is the number one reason for conflict between humans and bears. Other reasons include livestock and their feed, fruit trees and bird feeders. Once a bear has been food conditioned, it may be labeled as a 'problem' bear, which may result in the bear having to be destroyed.
Bears are ruled by their stomachs. If they can't find the food they need, they will leave the area.

Did you know that bears don't hibernate because it gets cold out or they know its winter? They hibernate because their natural food supply has run out. It is essential to keep all non-natural food secure, even over the winter. If there is food readily available, bears will not hibernate. 

Let’s Work Together to Keep Wildlife Wild

In 2018 the City introduced a new Wildlife and Vector Control Bylaw. This bylaw includes provisions to reduce human/wildlife interactions and ensures the protection of wildlife, public safety and prevents the spread of infectious disease within our city. We have also introduced fines under our Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw for those found in contravention of this bylaw. Daily fines can range from $100 for having bee hives accessible to wildlife to $500 for setting out receptacles prior to  5:00 am on collection day. 

Vector Bylaw logo

At Home

Things we can do at home:
  • Keep all garbage secure. Consider purchasing a wildlife proof container.
  • Rinse out recycling containers to reduce odour.
  • Put garbage and recycling out at the curbside no earlier than 5:00 am on the day of pick up.
  • Pick fruit and berries as they ripen.
  • Use bird baths or native plants to attract birds instead of a birdfeeder.
  • Secure livestock feed.
  • Use electric fencing to protect livestock. Electric fencing should also be considered as a method of protecting fruit trees and bee hives.
  • Feed pets indoors and keep all their bowls indoors.
  • Keep the barbeque and all barbeque tools clean.
  • Keep the compost odourless by liming and turning frequently. Never add meat, fish, fats, oils or pet waste to the composter.
  • Keep outdoor fridges and freezers secured or consider moving them indoors.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Things we can do while enjoying the outdoors:
  • Make a practice of taking your garbage with you when leaving parks and greens paces. A park garbage can overflowing with picnic leftovers and other waste is a virtual Smörgåsbord for all wildlife.
  • Travel in groups, and keep children close to you.
  • Dogs should be kept leashed at all times.
  • Make noise by singing or clapping. This announces your presence to wildlife in the area
  • Carry a deterrent. Deterrents include noisemakers, air horns and bear spray. If you plan on carrying bear spray, make sure you receive training on how to use it safely.
  • Watch for signs that a bear has been in the area, which includes bear scat or droppings, scratches on trees, smashed logs and overturned boulders.
Let's help to make our outdoor areas safe for everyone to enjoy, including the bears!

Daniel Mikolay

WildSafeBC Community Coordinator

Email WildSafeBC

Tel: 604-652-3095 

Report bear sightings or conflicts with wildlife that threaten public safety:

Conservation Officer Service

Tel: 877-952-7277