POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Bear season is upon us.

That’s according to Francine Ulmer, the WildSafeBC Coordinator for the Powell River Regional District.

“Bear conflicts have started to increase this spring. The natural food sources are very low calorie this time of year, and it’s not until we are well into berry season before bears start to fatten up,” she said.

“Right now, we have problems with bears going after chickens, garbage, pet food and a lot of the typical attractants that communities have that attract bears.”

Ulmer suggested that residents ensure their yard is properly secured.

“Always survey your yard, your campsite if you’re out in nature and if you’re gardening, look at your gardening practices,” she said.

“If you have chickens, use an electric fence if you are allowed. It’s the most secure way to protect your animals from predators.”

WildSafeBC focuses on education and spreading the word on how people can avoid conflicts with wildlife.

The organization’s motto is “keeping wildlife wild and communities safe”. It offers a number of programs, including the Junior Ranger program and WARP (Wildlife Alert Reporting Program).

Tips to reduce conflicts with wildlife include keeping garbage out of your yard, picking up fallen fruit on your property, and properly managing compost.

Further details can be found through the WildSafeBC website at wildsafebc.com.