Bears Invade Trail
Rossland’s Bear Aware Program Coordinator received a phone call from the local Conservation Officer on May 22d. There have been well over 100 calls from Trail to the Conservation Officer so far this year regarding bears. This statistic is WAY more than usual. There hasn’t been one call to the Conservation Officer from Rossland (although there have been many sightings.
Conservation Officer, Peter Busnik stated that he predicts that there are as many as 12 bear in W.Trail alone. Last week the Conservation Officers trapped two bears in W.Trail. Busnik says the pattern is clear: “garbage is killing bears”.
Almost all the incident reports from Trail are related to garbage luring hungry bears into the neighbourhoods. Once a bear eats garbage once, it’s likely to return to the same place for second helpings. This puts the safety of the bears and the people at risk and can often lead to property damage.
When doing door to door education, Bear Aware’s Coordinator met someone who had a bear in their kitchen the previous day. The door to the house wasn’t closed properly and a bear let itself in to eat garbage.
The message to improve the bear problem is clear: lock up your trash is a secure place and don’t put your garbage on the curb until the morning of pick up. If you don’t, more bears may be destroyed.
Busnik will not set a trap because a bear is ripping into household garbage. This is a human problem and we live in bear country. However, if the bear is showing signs of aggression, the Conservation Officers have to take the appropriate steps.
There is a garbage bylaw in Trail and people who store garbage outside can be issued with a fine. However, education is key to this bear crisis. Let your neighbours know that there is a bear problem and tell them how they can be more ‘bear aware’.