Northern Bear Aware Hoping Quiet Season Continues
By 250 News
Bear and cubs raiding local crab apple tree Northern Bear Aware file photo courtesy Nathan Waldner
Prince George, B.C. - While bothersome for area residents, the wet spring and cool summer boded well for the local bear population...
The weather conditions produced a bumper crop of wild berries, meaning the bears have been feeding on natural foods, as opposed to attractants such as garbage and bird seed in backyard feeders.
Northern Bear Aware Community Coordinator, Rachel Caira, says, "The 2011 bear season has been fairly quiet, with a total of 226 calls to the Conservation Officer Service, resulting in five bears being destroyed since April 1."
Caira says that compares to favourably to the 30 animals destroyed and 850 calls received by this same time last year. However, she points out that local fruit trees have also responded well to the earlier weather conditions and there's a concern the ripening apples will draw bears into residential areas.
The Northern Bear Aware spokesperson says bears are entering a state known as 'hyperphagia' where they will feed for up to 20 hours per day in preparation for hibernation, so she's reminding city residents to ensure apples and crab apples are picked as soon as they're ripe and other attractants aren't left out in yards.
Caira says the fruit exchange program is entering its 12th year - for residents with more fruit than they want, the local initiative will match them with those seeking it either for themselves or for livestock. Anyone wanting more information can phone 250-649-8745.
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