As bears are coming out of hibernation in search of food, conservation officers are telling people to keep their garbage secure until collection day. WILDSAFEBC.COM PHOTO

Be Bear Smart with your garbage around the Alberni Valley

Bears are out of hibernation and looking for food

As bears begin to emerge from hibernation in search of food, conservation officers are reminding Port Alberni residents to tune up their attractant management.

“People should make sure their garbage cans are put away, that they’re not left out at the curb the night before pickup and the bear resistant hardware is being used,” said Port Alberni conservation officer Daniel Eichstadter.

He said if anyone doesn’t have bear resistant hardware on their city provided garbage cans, they can call city works to get some installed.

Other ways to manage bear attractants are to not leave any pet food outside at the end of the day, nor bird feed.

“We’ve been bear smart in Port Alberni for over 10 years now,” Eichstadter said. “A lot of people have been getting education and warnings and it’s time that we’re now responsible. If people leave garbage out, or unsecured attractants, they can expect to get a ticket. There’s bylaw tickets that are $100 and there’s Province of BC tickets for $230 for attracting dangerous wildlife.”

To report a bear in town, people can call the RAP line at 1-877-952-7277, which allows conservation officers to keep tabs on bears that come into neighbourhoods.

“We’ve got to do a neighbourhood audit see where we can clean things up a little bit more, how can we make things better so the bear that’s there can move on,” Eichstadter said. “We’re doing really well as a community. We’ve come leaps and bounds so let’s keep progressing.”

For other wildlife attractant management tips visit wildsafebc.com.

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