Bear Awareness

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Bear Awareness

Welcome! Our passion is bears and we hope to provide you with lots of bear information. With this section of the web you will find information on bears, bear blogs, other bear websites and bear FAQ’s.  We would love to hear from you, with your questions, pictures and stories.


Please store your garbage in the garage and not put it out prior to the allowed time!

If we can do one thing to help prevent another bear from being shot and her cubs orphaned that is to stress the fact about garbage management. Please store your garbage, recycle and garden waste bins in the garage, not outside. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and can smell garbage from long distances. In getting ready for hibernation they are motivated even more to seek out food. When you remove your attractants, such as bird feeders, humingbird feeders, garbage they will move on. Please don’t let one bin in your neighbourhood be out. It only takes one bin to become an attractant. Help support all of our endeavours and be vigilant about not putting out the bins before the allowed pick up times. Lobby your local government, municipalities to enforce bylaws and fine those that do not follow the bylaws. Most municipalities have fines for having them out prior to pickup times. If we all pull together and get the word out, we can help prevent a bear from being killed and not have unwanted encounters. With our web site you will find lots of wonderful bear pictures and some of the recent orphaned bear cubs. Each one is very individual. The orphaned cubs have gone through a tragic loss of their mother. If you wish to help please spread the word and link our page to your Facebook or blog. Please check out our site and we invite your comments back. Thank you from all of us at ZANDERS & Associates Mortgage Brokers Inc. Here is what bear experts have to say about the problem of humans and their garbage attracting the bears! 

“There is no single technique that will resolve human-bear conflicts in the long term, whether you are using a human dominance technique, trapping and relocating individuals, or even shooting nuisance bears. We have a problem because residential areas with birdfeeders, garbage and other attractants often become the highest quality bear habitat. Removal of bears from these areas will only create an opportunity for the next bear to occupy the newly available habitat niche. The only real solution is to reduce the quality of this residential habitat by removing or securing sources of human food, such as birdfeeders, garbage and animal feed. All of these foods have two to three times the caloric value per unit of any natural foods and are offered in high volumes in most residential backyards. It is not unusual to find 5-35 pounds of black-oil, sunflower seeds out at a times or that much food in a garbage can. Dumpsters often have huge volumes of food and offer, as much as 40 to 100 pounds a week. Bears, like all animals, prioritize the food they eat according to quality and quantity, as well as the risk involved attaining it. This explains why bears exhibit more nuisance behaviour in months or years of natural food shortages than they do when abundant natural foods are available to them. If the food sources in problem residential areas are reduced to a minimum, these areas will no longer be worth the risk to the bear and the problems will cease. Consequently, the solution to the problem is not so much about managing bears, but about managing people.”

Ben Kilham

Understanding, Mitigating and Managing Black Bear Behaviour 


“If you live in a greenbelt area where there are bears living, there are certain precautions that you as a responsible resident need to take, to help protect not only the bears but also everyone in your community. Bears are opportunistic eating machines and they have a very keen sense of smell. They can smell attractants from kilometers away and one of the biggest attractants we have at our homes is … garbage. If everyone does their part consistently and fully, bear incidents in those residential areas would disappear almost overnight.”
Phil Warburton

 “During bear season, bears will venture into residential areas in search of food. The best way to bear proof our backyards is prevention – if bears do not find food, they will move on. Remember that bears are very inquisitive and have a strong sense of smell.
More than 1000 bears are killed every year in BC because of human-bear conflicts at a cost of over 1 million dollars. Most of these bears are attracted to residential areas by improperly stored garbage and other attractants.”
North Shore Bear Society 


“The natural curiosity of bears brings them into our communities. While exploring our residential areas, they become ensnared in a web of garbage and other attractants. Bears are ruled by their stomachs; if they cannot find the food they need, they soon leave the area. Foraging in communities is a learned behaviour that threatens the safety of both the bears and the residents of that community.
Bear Aware encourages people to change their behaviour. If people do not make bear attractants such as garbage and fruit available to bears, we can minimize human-bear conflict. Preventing these conflicts makes our communities safer and more sustainable. The program strives, through proper waste and attractant management, to prevent bears from lingering in our urban areas.
It is hoped that this reduction of bear attractants will minimize complaints and reduce the number of animals that have to be destroyed or relocated each year. This reduction of bear attractants (and hence human-bear conflict) not only protects a significant wildlife resource, but also frees Conservation Officers to pursue other important duties – and saves the taxpayer money.
On average 800 black bears and 40 grizzlies are killed every year in BC. Most of these deaths are preventable. 
 “While the recent low number of killed and relocated bears is encouraging, in 2003 56% of all 206 bear calls were related to garbage and other attractants while 16.5% of the calls involved a bear entering or attempting to enter a person’s house or vehicle. These are problems that could be lessened by implementing a policy of zero tolerance of food-garbage infractions. Non-lethal treatment of some bears in complaint situations is commendable, but lacks consistency and monitoring.” “Clearly, if carnivore conservation is impeded by a problem between local communities and carnivore behavior, problem resolution must involve not only the carnivore that is the problem, but also the humans who are having the problem.”
Sillero-Zubiri and Laurenson, 2000

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