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October 27, 2017 6:09 pm

Bears…The Awakening

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

Display at Northern Bear Awareness Society  talk  at Prince George Public Library – photo 250News

Prince George BC- It’s that time of the year, bears are waking from hibernation  and they are looking for  food.That means  it’s time  for  Prince George residents to  take steps to ensure hungry bears  don’t  take the easy way out  to get  food.

The Northern Bear Awareness Society  offered plenty of advice on how  to avoid having bears come to  your  property  to find  food.

“A bear’s sense of smell is 7 times greater than that of a bloodhound” said  Haneef Abdul Rehman  as he lead those in attendance in a course one might  call “Bears-101”.  From the types of bears  around the world,  to their  life cycles, and what  to do should  you come across a bear,  Abdul Rehman  presented  an informative,  and at times humorous,  talk about  the species.

At this time of the year,  bears  are emerging from their dens and in Prince George,  there have already been  8 sightings,  5 in the past two weeks.   One third of the bear sightings so far this year involved  bears  accessing  attractants left by humans.

While bears will eat nearly  anything,  it was pointed out that their  natural  food sources,  such as berries, clover and dandelions  are low in calorie count when compared to  the  food humans throw out.  “During Hyperphagia ( when bears are packing on the pounds to prepare for hibernation)  they require about 20 thousand calories a day” said Abdul Rehman  “That’s about the same as eating 36 Big Macs a day.”

So if a  pound of raspberries  provides about 229 calories,  it’s not a stretch to see why bears  would opt  for  one pound of  black oil  sunflower seeds from a birdfeeder, which  has about 2,485 calories.

“The best thing we can do is to change our behaviours” said  Abdul Rehman ” secure your garbage and if possible  put it out in the morning of  pick up instead of overnight,  take down the birdfeeders,  don’t leave dog food outside”   Once a bear has found  the  easy source of food,  they will return to it,  and  that leads to problems.  He also  advised not to put meat,  fish or dairy  items in compost.

The Society has a fruit exchange program  that is usually in full swing at the end of the summer.  The program links those who  have fruit they don’t want,   to those who  do want it. ( check out their facebook page)

Last year,  there were 900 calls to  the Conservation Officer Service about  problem bears  in Prince George,   and 42 bears were destroyed.

Dave Bakker,  President of the Society  says  there is no relocation program for bears found to have been “habituated” to  rooting through garbage “They are destroyed,  and a female with  her cubs in that situation,  well, the whole family is  destroyed.  So the message remains the same, ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.”





Totally agree on preventative measures! The funny part? Telling people to put their garbage out the morning of pick-up! It is not going to happen around here! People are clueless! A hunter and neighbour was totally shocked last fall when he found his garbage strewn all over! Couldn’t figure out why! Stated that he won’t do that again, wrong! Back to where he was. LOL? He is retired also, so he has time in the a.m.

    Nightshift workers and others with no options can be excused.

      I find that rather himourous, I worked over 35 years doing shift work and I stayed on top of it! There are always options, as my tactical instructor drilled this into us. Improvise, adapt and overcome!

I work from midnight until noon 5 days a week and have no options but to put mine out on my way to work. Are you coming to my place to put my garbage out for me?

    Geezus, those are the strangest hours I ever heard off, I was 0645-1900 4 and 4, 4 and 6. If you lived on Mark cresc. in College Heights I would do it, as I helped out a neighbour of mine awhile back by doing this exact thing. Aren’t you friendly with your neighbours? One day a week shpuldnt tax neighbours too much! LOL

      It is good that you had a good relationship with your neighbors. Due to recent issues that I have had with bears and garbage cans, I found that I have to put my garbage can in my garage during bear season so they don’t get into it. The unfortunate problem is that have neighbors that I can not trust with the key to my garage to take it out for me on garbage day.

      0645-1900 is nightshift?

Gee! Sorry to hear that, very unfortunate! Well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Maybe down the road some of your neighbours will move and better ones will move in. Good luck, hope your garbage is safe! LOL

Do bears get into the dump? If so how are they dealt with?

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