NEWS RELEASE · 5th October 2010
Over the October 1st weekend Conservation Officers attended numerous calls in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village regarding habituated bears. Regrettably several of the bears had become a danger to people and property and had to be destroyed. One occurrence required that Haisla Blvd be temporarily blocked off from Ptarmigan to Kingfisher while Conservation officer located and destroyed a problem bear.
Habituated bears pose a danger to people and property as they have lost their otherwise natural fear of people due to repeated exposures to non-natural food sources such as domestic garbage as well as natural food sources, such as fruits and berries, located in high population areas so as unharvested fruit trees.
To prevent the destruction of more bears in Kitimat, it is important that residents pick their ripe fruit and collect fallen fruit from the ground. Even more important for the bears is to secure domestic garbage in animal resistant storage containers and to not put garbage out for collection prior to 4 am.
In order to ensure that people are in compliance with these simple steps, RCMP, Conservation Officers, and Bylaw officers will be issuing warnings and tickets.
Some important points to remember, in order to avoid an expensive ticket and more importantly to avoid the risks that come with habituated bears:
Harvest fruit from trees as soon as it is ripe.
Collect and dispose of any fruit that falls on the ground around trees.
Keep your domestic garbage in animal resistant containers or structures.
Do not put out garbage for curbside pickup any earlier than 4:00 a.m. the day of pickup
Do not leave attractants such as animal feeders or pet food outside where bears may be attracted.
Do not put out bird feeders until after bears begin their hibernation cycles
And if you do have problems with bears damaging property call the Conservation office toll free at 1-877-952-7277
In case of an emergency, where a bear is an immediate threat to a persons safety, call 911.
In Kitimat we are very lucky to be surrounded by wildlife, and this year we've been particularly fortunate as many who were lucky enough to see the Kermodi bear will tell you.
Using common sense and normal caution, we can enjoy the presence of wildlife all around us without endangering the wildlife or ourselves and our neighbors.