COQUITLAM, B.C., Feb. 28, 2022 – Coquitlam is asking residents and businesses to make sure their property isn’t a source of food for bears.
Bears den for the winter unless they can seek out easy and plentiful food sources. They may also become temporarily active during periods of warmer weather in the winter months. Bears are currently being seen regularly in River Springs, Harbour Chines and west of Mundy Park. As a result, City staff are patrolling the community, with a focus on these areas, looking for attractants such as garbage and green carts put out early for collection.
Guided by massive appetites and a keen sense of smell, bears find unsecured garbage carts, dumpsters and other food sources near homes and businesses to be an irresistible draw.
Help Keep Bears Away
Residents can take simple steps to keep bears safe and prevent human-wildlife conflict, including:
- Store garbage, food waste and recycling in a secure area that is inaccessible to wildlife, such as a locked garage or shed;
- Only place carts and bins at the curb after 5:30 a.m. on collection day—not the night before; and
- Keep carts and bins odour-free by freezing smelly garbage and food waste until collection day and regularly cleaning them.
Property owners who allow wildlife to access attractants—even unintentionally—may receive a $500 fine. These rules are explained at www.coquitlam.ca/bearsmart.
Unsecured Attractants Put Bears at Risk
Bears have a strong sense of smell, meaning it only takes one home’s garbage to attract a bear. Taking steps to make sure they don’t find an easy meal in your neighbourhood will help encourage them to forage in natural areas rather than backyards.
Unsecured garbage continues to be the most common bear attractant in Coquitlam. This is a problem because bears that become habituated to eating garbage can become unpredictable, and increase the risk to public safety.
It’s up to everyone to do their part to be bear smart. City staff are available to help provide tips and advice on how to make your property—and especially your garbage—less attractive to bears.
For more information on securing attractants, visit www.coquitlam.ca/bearsmart.
To report wildlife attractants, improper storage of attractants or wildlife accessing attractants, call the City at 604-927-3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety or causes property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.