Bear Smart at Home
Although watching a bear feed in your yard can be an exhilarating experience, it almost always leads to trouble eventually. Making sure your home and yard are bear-proof is an essential part of making your community safe for both bears and people. Here's how:
- Keep your home bear-attractant free. Don't attract bears to your property with garbage, bird feeders, fruit trees and berry bushes, gardens, compost, dirty barbecues (grease cans or drip trays) or pet food.
- Don't stockpile garbage and recycling in large quantities. Store it indoors; or outdoors in bear-proof containers. If your community has curb-side pick-up, don't place it outside until just before pick-up.
- Bears can and will climb through open windows and doors. Consider keeping them closed and locked during bear season, especially if you know there is a bear in the area.
- Use specially designed bear deterrents - remotely triggered lights, noisemakers, and sprinklers - to discourage bears from entering your property, especially while you are away for extended periods.
- If you encounter a bear in an urban area, remain calm. Give the bear plenty of space and an easy escape route. If it's a black bear, make lots of noise to encourage it to leave; if it's a grizzly bear, remain quiet and slowly back away. (Click here to learn how to tell the difference.) Call your local conservation/wildlife officer and report your bear sighting.
- Keep the whole neighbourhood safe by encouraging your neighbours to follow BearSmart practices, too.
- Join your local BearSmart organization. Click here to see if there is one in your community. If not, consider starting your own.
The Living in Bear Country video (20 min.) provides practical advice on minimizing problems with bears in the places that people live. It is the consensus opinion of leading experts on living safely in bear country. Living in Bear Country shows how a few simple adjustments to your daily routine can reduce the risk of property damage and human injury from bears.
If bears start frequenting places where people live, then it's time for the entire community to acknowledge the problem and work together. By living responsibly in bear country both individuals and communities can help prevent many bear deaths and keep themselves safer. You can view the script here.
Copies of these videso can be purchased online from Distribution Access or by calling 1-800-665-4121. They can be purchased for home use or with Public Presentation Rights (PPR), which means they are licenced to allow showings to non-paying audiences. PPR sets also can be purchased from Kodiak Wildlife Products Inc.
For Whistler Residents:
Bear Smart Whistler Resident's Guide - download
Composting in Bear Country - download