Editor, The Record:
Bears and humans should be able to coexist if attractants are managed.
That is one of our main messages here at Bear Aware. Our program is dedicated to educating people about how to manage bear attractants in a way that will prevent bears from being drawn into residential areas.
Part of this program includes garbage tagging which is carried out the evening before garbage pick-up and involves placing yellow "Bear Attractant" stickers on the garbage that has been placed curbside prematurely. This "early garbage" is one of the main causes of local bears becoming food conditioned and is the main reason that seven bears had to be destroyed in Mission last year.
In just one neighbourhood tagged last week, 41 homes out of 300 had garbage placed on the curb before 9 p.m. the evening before pickup.
In addition to garbage tagging, we also do door to door campaigns in problem areas with our brochure explaining the many reasons why bears are being drawn into communities. These attractants vary and can be anything from garbage to bird feeders, barbecues, pet food and compost. Please take the time to consider managing your attractants and visit our website at bearaware.bc.ca for more information on the program. Also, if you have any questions or notice attractant problems in your neighbourhood, give us a call at 604-820-3795.