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October 27, 2017 3:43 pm

Human Wildlife Conflicts A Plenty in B.C.

Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

Prince George, B.C. – 2017 has proven to be a very busy year for the BC Conservation Officer Service.

So far this year, there have been  more than  16 thousand human-wildlife conflicts reported.  Of that,  more than 10 thousand involved black bears,  11 hundred  involved cougars, and 350 involved grizzly bears.

Deputy Chief  Chris Doyle  says so far,  there hasn’t been any  increased  human-wildlife conflict reported as a result of wildlife fleeing the  fires. “We  are getting some  human-wildlife conflict reports  from around those communities that have been  affected by wildfires, but nothing unusual or nothing in greater  numbers than normal.  It is possible that  when  certain food sources disappear  wildlife will disappear, but  so far,  we haven’t noticed a big increase in conflicts related to wildfires.”

Doyle  says while the numbers of  human wildlife conflict reports were up  early in the year  “But  the numbers have  stabilized recently, certainly we are seeing fewer calls in the last few weeks than we were seeing earlier in the summer.”

Doyle says it’s hard to say how things will  evolve heading into the fall “It’s really going to depend on the natural food supply and communities being  diligent with attractants, so it’s hard to say how the season will progress.”

It is the time of the year  that residents are reminded to  take extra steps to ensure  bear attractants  are  secured says Doyle  “It’s also a reminder that it’s an offence  under the wildlife act to feed or attract bears and other dangerous wildlife.  It is also an offence to negligently store attractants which includes garbage, fruit or other attractants that may attract dangerous wildlife.”

Doyle says recently a business in Penticton was issued a dangerous wildlife protection order to manage some attractants. “The business was provided some time to come into compliance, but a follow up inspection confirmed that no action had been  taken.  On August 24th that business was charged  for failing to comply with the  order  and for  attracting dangerous wildlife. Fines totalled $805 dollars,  a second order has now been issued to the company to come into  compliance.  Unfortunately a black bear was destroyed in the area related to the  attractants.”



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