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Heading off conflicts at the source

July 26, 2016 9:53 A.M.

Keep your bins secure and free from smells.

That’s timely advice to residents from the TNRD as bear season progresses.

WildSafeBC Community Co-ordinator Mandy Ross will be out in the regional district throughout the summer tagging garbage bins that are placed out too early. She will also offer education on reducing bear attractants around homes and properties.

The season so far has been quiet and sufficient rainfall assures a good berry crop to keep them in their natural habitat. Typically, human-bear interactions increase in late summer.

“I think there’s lots for bears to be eating right now,” Ross said. “We’ll definitely expect it to pick up in August and September.”

For those venturing into the wilderness it’s a different story, of course.

“Just keep an eye out and definitely make a lot of noise,” and keep a can of bear spray handy just in case, she added.

Much of the TNRD is bear country, so it is important to keep garbage bins in a secure location until 5 a.m. on days of collection to ensure the safety of both wildlife and the community. 

Bears easily become habituated to garbage and become a danger to the community and themselves if they start to seek out garbage as a food source. 

Dana Eye of WildSafeBC is responsible for the immediate area around Kamloops while Ross covers all other areas of the region.

Eye said human-bear interactions in the city are up over the numbers at this time last year. So far, there have been 60 calls, which may have been reports of sightings rather than closer contact. At this point in 2015 there were only about 20.

"I think they were active earlier this year because of the weather and food availability," Eye said. In total last year, there were 361 calls made to WildSafeBC about bears in the city.

Ross can be reached at for more information or for tips on managing wildlife attractants around your home. Ross will also have an information booth at some community events throughout the summer.

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