Bear found digging in garbage warned off with rubber bullets
A bear sighting in Coquitlam last week has police reminding the public to secure their garbage, no matter the time of year.
The bear was spotted last Wednesday evening near Pinetree Way and David Avenue. Coquitlam RCMP and conservation officers responded and found the bear rummaging through garbage someone had left out.
The conservation officer was able to scare the bear away using rubber bullets.
"People have to realize bears find our garbage irresistible. It is a feast to them," said Cpl. Jamie Chung. "If you leave your kitchen garbage out in unlocked containers, I guarantee bears will come looking for dinner in your neighbourhood."
He urged people to help avoid bear-human conflicts by ensuring kitchen garbage and other attractants are inaccessible for bears, and noted there are links to Bear Aware pages on the Coquitlam and PoCo city websites.
Tips and reminders include:
• Avoid bear encounters by storing garbage securely and only putting it out the morning of pick-up; keep barbecues clean, remove outdoor freezers and feed pets indoors.
• Bears spotted going about their regular business — walking through your yard, trails or open park spaces — should be left alone. Report sightings, including aggressive bears or those seen rummaging through garbage, to the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).
Each year more than 1,000 bears are killed in B.C. because of bear-human conflicts; almost all were attracted to neighbourhoods by improperly stored garbage and other attractants. For more information visit www.bearware.bc.ca.