Wild Wise Sooke: Spring into preparing for bears

New organization will educate public in regard to bear/human conflicts

Residents can help avoid bear-human conflicts.

Residents can help avoid bear-human conflicts.

Spring is around the corner and so our interaction with wildlife begins. It is time to start preparing for the black bears seeking food sources in our neighbourhoods. If you live in Sooke, chances are you have bears living nearby. We live in bear country and should learn to expect to deal with bears. Preventing and/or reducing conflict with bears requires us to modify our behaviors.

The black bear is an intelligent animal, with the ability to remember food locations and can quickly become accustomed to human sources of food. If they’ve had luck finding food, some bears lose their fear of humans and start visiting regularly looking for something to eat. These bears can become persistent and can damage your property and pose a potential safety hazard. You can help keep bears away from your home by removing any bear-attracting food sources.

Is your residence area free of food odors that may attract a hungry bear’s attention?

Garbage, bird food, pet food, fruit trees, and outdoor grills are the most common bear invitations.

When should you call the Conservation Officer?

When the public calls to report a bear, a report is generated. These reports can assist the Wild Wise Sooke program in focusing attention on a certain area of concern within the community.

It is important to report human-bear conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service’s toll-free RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

In most cases, the COs simply tracks the location, movements and habits of bears through the reported sightings. Conservation Services work directly with Wild Wise Sooke to form a proactive solution through educational intervention. There is a great deal of misinformation concerning bear biology and behavior, Wild Wise provides factual information about bears and bear behavior. This keeps our community safe and wildlife.

Tips for the Kitchen Scraps Program

This year many people have the new kitchen scrap containers. Keep garbage and kitchen scrap containers behind closed doors in your garage, basement or storage area. Garbage and kitchen scrap containers that are left in open carports or in your backyard is an easy target for bears, and other rodents like rats and raccoons.

• Put your garbage and kitchen scraps out on the morning of collection day and not the night before. Avoid stockpiling garbage, as this is a good way to attract bears.

• If you take your garbage to the dump yourself, make sure it is stored behind closed doors and take it to the dump on a frequent basis.

• Thoroughly clean your garbage and kitchen scrap containers every 2-3 days.

• Empty your kitchen scraps container frequently. Keep the lid tightly closed.

• If you have garbage pickup, place your curbside tote at the curb every collection day – even if it is not full.

• Storing your tote indoors in a freezer is a good solution to avoid smells in your home. Warmer weather can increase odour problems. Keep the tote out of the sun.

• Use paper to line the bottom of your kitchen scraps container and curbside tote. Remember that soiled paper products (towels, plates, napkins, cups, etc.) are also accepted in the program.

• Freeze meat, bones and fish scraps until your collection day. This will limit odour problems and reduce the risk of insects in your tote.

• Rinse your kitchen container and curbside tote frequently. Regular cleaning with vinegar and hot water or a mild biodegradable detergent is especially important during warmer months. Fly eggs and maggots can be killed by using boiling water or sprinkling them with vinegar.

• Keep odours at a minimum the natural way. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda, garden lime, biodegradable laundry detergent, or vinegar in your kitchen container and curbside tote as a deodorizer.

Remember — to change the behavior of bears, we must first change our own.

Debbie Read – Wild Wise Sooke Community Coordinator

wildwisesooke@gmail.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read