Wildlife Safety

Let's help to make our outdoor areas safe for everyone to enjoy, including the bears!

Let's Work Together to Keep Wildlife Wild

The City's Wildlife and Vector Control 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. Those found in contravention of this bylaw can be issued daily fines ranging from $100 for having bee hives accessible to wildlife to $500 for setting out receptacles prior to 5:00 am on collection day. 

Together with Ridge Meadows Recycling, the City launched a Bear Aware campaign in our community which grew into WildSafeBC. WildSafeBC is a program designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education, innovation and cooperation. It has evolved out of the highly successful Bear Aware program and is owned and delivered by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

The goal is for Maple Ridge to achieve Bear Smart status. WildSafeBC is working with the City of Maple Ridge, Conservation Officer Service and the community to achieve this goal. The city revised their Wildlife and Vector Control Bylaw and continues to conduct neighbourhood patrols and provide education on wildlife attractants. Conservation Officer Service has relocated multiple low conflict bears. By collaborating together, Maple Ridge will be able to keep wildlife and our community safe.

Black Bears vs. Grizzly Bears

The most common human-bear interactions in Maple Ridge are with black bears. Due to the abundance of food available to black bears, the population has exploded. The grizzly bear population has shrunk in our area due to high human occupation, but grizzlies have been sighted as close as the upper Pitt River Valley.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between black bears and grizzly bears because both of their colouring can vary from blonde to black. With black bears, their colouring can also include white and blue.

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 labelled 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 it's 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. 


Daniel Mikolay
WildSafeBC Community Coordinator
Email WildSafeBC at: mapleridge@wildsafebc.com 
Tel: 604-652-3095 

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

Conservation Officer Service
Tel: 877-952-7277