News

Big increase in bear sightings in Coquitlam

Securing garbage is the best way to keep bears out of your yard. - PHILIP WARBURTON
Securing garbage is the best way to keep bears out of your yard.
— image credit: PHILIP WARBURTON

Coquitlam city staff are counting on new wildlife-resistant garbage cans to cut down on the number of bear and wildlife complaints.

The city’s new solid waste collection system will begin in July, when BFI Canada Inc. begins automated curbside pick-up for the city’s approximate 25,000 single-family homes.

That’s when wildlife complaints typically surge and last year was a big year for animal sightings, problem bears and pests, according to the city’s Environmental Services division.

A report to council tated that bear sightings, complaints and property damage occurred in all areas of Coquitlam. On a map, the bear-related sightings reported to the provincial Conservation Officer Service stretched from Miller and Mackin parks on the west side to Minnekhada Park in the city’s northeast.

PATROLLING NEIGHBOURHOODS

To try to control the problem, urban wildlife staff patrolled neighbourhoods to educate householders about garbage and other bear attractants, handing out 132 notices of violation — but no fines.

In addition, the Conservation Officer Service noticed a significant increase in bear activity across the northeast part of the region, with a total of 1,565 calls for Coquitlam, almost doubling the number of the previous year, when 950 bear calls were received.

As well, seven bears were destroyed and one cougar was killed last year because of safety issues, the report states.

Urban Wildlife coyotes

The city also handled 31 calls due to coyotes, 24 due to raccoons and 13 cougar/bobcat calls as well as dealing with a few skunk, waterfowl, deer, bat, rabbit, fish and other animal concerns.

Pests were another issue, with 60% of calls about rodents, 22.4% about wasps, 9.6% about other insects, 6.4% about birds and crows and 1.6% about squirrels, for a total of 125 pest calls.

This year, the Conser-vation Officer Service and city urban wildlife officials are asking people to once again clean up their garbage and other attractants, including pet food and bird seed, as bears are awake from hibernation and looking for food.

NEW BINS COMING SOON

Coquitlam’s new trash collection program starts July 2. Homeowners in single-family residences will get new bins in late April or early May. Residents will get to choose their cart size: 120, 240 or 360 litres. Collection will be weekly for the green can (food and yard trimmings) and bi-weekly for garbage that can’t be recycled or put in the green can. Visit coquitlam.ca/curbsidecollection for more information on the program.

 

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
 
Local charity joins fight against Ebola
 
From 1 to 150, protecting Coquitlam residents
New superintendent chosen for Coquitlam school district
 
Tri-City MPs safe after Parliament Hill shooting
 
ELECTION 2014: Job of school trustee appeals to many
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
 
Surrey enforcer killed on the weekend
 
New West a big city spender?

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.