Co-existing with B.C. wildlife? More than 100 black bears destroyed in June

(Featured Image photo credit: Global News)

How are you co-existing with B.C. black bears?

I’m asking you this question after I worked on a story at News Talk 980 CKNW Vancouver:  Province destroying too many habituated bears, according to wildlife expert.

It has been revealed that May was the deadliest month for black bears with 119 euthanized by conservation officers, more than double that time last year.

Last month, there was another 103 black bears euthanized, again, more than double from June 2016.

The province has a Bear Aware program, designed by the Ministry of Environment, that encourages communities/people to work together to be bear smart. So far, seven communities have received that status.

I’ve spoken with conservation officers that say the answer is simple: prevention is key – manage attractants properly. For example, secure garbage bins, bird feeders etc. But they explain, they can’t do it alone and need residents to step up to the plate and take responsibility.

Just the last week, the City of Coquitlam said it’s sending residents and businesses a message, that if they’re not being bear aware, they’re going to pay for it. $500 to be exact.

It says this was after the city had an audit of more than 25,000 properties that showed almost 20% of homes were putting their garbage outside at night before collection day.

But what are YOU doing to be more bear aware and to co-exist with wild animals? What pushes you to plan ahead to maintain attractants – is it the risk of being fined or because you don’t want the animals to be put in a situation where their lives could be at risk?

Also, are you educated on the animals behaviour that live close to your neighbourhoods?

Why is it important to you to co-exist with B.C. wildlife?

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