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Bear Smart

People and wildlife, such as bears, are increasingly sharing space throughout Kamloops, so it’s important that we learn how to live with them harmoniously. One of the main reasons bears will enter neighbourhoods is because of mismanaged garbage.

It’s normal for a bear to travel though our community in certain instances, such as accessing natural food sources or relocating to areas once included in their natural home range. However, when bears begin to utilize human-provided food sources in a community, it creates the potential for human-bear conflict.

Your Actions Can Save a Bear's Life

Addressing the source of human-bear conflict reduces the risk to human safety and private property and the number of bears destroyed. Wildlife see improperly managed and unsecured garbage and organic waste as an easy food source. Removing access to these attractants is key to preventing food conditioning, which is a learned behaviour where wildlife associate people and their property as an easily accessible food source.

Bears that are conditioned to non-natural food sources are not candidates for relocation or rehabilitation because of the high risk to public safety, as they typically show minimal fear of people. Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear.

Check Your Property For Bear Attractants

Unmanaged bear attractants around our homes can unintentionally attract bears to our neighbourhoods as they sniff out food sources. A bear can pick up a scent from kilometers away!

Help keep our community and local bear populations safe by doing the following:

  • Keep pet food/containers indoors.
  • Keep your barbecue clean.
  • Remove bird feeders from May to November and clean up any spilled bird seed.
  • Pick fruit from trees as soon as it ripens and consider removing any unwanted fruit trees. If you need help harvesting your trees, check out Kamloops Food Policy Council’s Gleaning Abundance Program
  • Manage back yard composters properly, and do not compost animal products, such as meats, greases, and dairy.

Do you have fruit trees? Follow these tips to prevent human-wildlife conflict and benefit your fruit trees:

  • Choose a plant or tree that does not bear fruit or berries and does not have a strong scent.
  • Prune your fruit trees so they only produce the amount of fruit you are able to use.
  • Prune fruit trees when they are dormant (January to early February).
  • Clean up fallen fruit daily and pick fruit and berries as soon as they ripen.
  • Consider investing in an electric fence system that will act as a wildlife deterrent.
  • If you do not use fruit from your existing trees and shrubs, consider replacing them.
  • If you do not want the fruit, prune the tree to prevent blossoms or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock them off.
  • If you need help harvesting your trees and want to make the fruit available to others, learn about the Kamloops Food Policy Council’s Gleaning Abundance Program.
  • Remember, domestic fruit trees should feed people, not wildlife!

It's the (By)law!

Under Solid Waste and Recyclables Bylaw No. 40-67:

  • Residents must ensure that solid waste carts are stored securely and made inaccessible to wildlife.
  • Between April 1 and November 30, carts must not be placed at the curb earlier than 4:00 am on collection day, and carts must be removed from the curb no later than 7:00 pm year-round 
  • No property owner or occupier shall accumulate, store, or collect any wildlife attractants unless stored in an enclosed structure or closed container.
  • Infractions may result in a $100 fine.

Feeding bears, even unintentionally, is also against the law in BC, under the British Columbia Wildlife Act.

Kamloops is a Bear Smart Community

Did you know? Kamloops is one of only 10 BC communities that has achieved official “Bear Smart” status. Being a designated Bear Smart Community means we work to address the root causes of human-bear conflict and help keep our community and local bear populations safe.

Please Report All Sightings

Report all sightings and human-wildlife interactions to the BC Conservation Officer Service by calling 1-877-952-7277. 

Do you know what to do if you see a bear? Learn useful information about how to respond if you encounter a bear

To find out where the most recent wildlife sightings have been in Kamloops, view this interactive map managed by the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program. We work in partnership with WildsafeBC on preventing conflict with wildlife. For more information and resources to help avoid conflict with wildlife, contact the Kamloops WildSafeBC Coordinator at 250-828-2551 or visit WildSafeBC.