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Secure bear attractants or it’ll cost you, says COS

The Conservation Officer Service is reminding you, that keeping unwelcome visitors off your porch is as simple as keeping your garbage indoors.

Conservation officers are doing neighbourhood audits to make sure people are doing their part, and are not leaving attractants available for bears to access.

As part of these patrols, you may see conservation officers in neighbourhoods and other areas, checking to see if attractants are secured by using bear-proof bins, picking excess fruit from trees, using electric fencing around livestock and other measures.

“As the COVID-19 outbreak means more people stay home, this creates an opportunity for garbage and other attractants to pile up – but also more opportunities to manage them,” said Doug Forsdick, Chief Conservation Officer. “We hope people take this opportunity to assess their properties for potential attractants and ensure they are properly stored. Communities where attractants are managed properly experience fewer human-wildlife conflicts and fewer animals destroyed.”

Failing to secure attractants can result in fines, or a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order issued under the Wildlife Act.

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You can report violations (those leaving garbage out), or conflict with wildlife to RAPP. 1-877-952-7277.

CO’s are targeting areas with a history of bear conflicts. 

Communities where unsecured attractants, such as garbage, pet food, birdseed and compost have led to problems with bears in the past, are also a priority.

During the first phase of patrols, which wrapped in late fall, CO’s completed more than 700 inspections, issued more than 75 charges, 300 warnings and 350 Dangerous Wildlife Protection Orders, which direct a property owner to remove an attractant or face a $575 fine. 

You’re asked to do your part to keep wildlife wild. For tips, click here.

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