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Be a good neighbour, not a buffet: Coquitlam urged to secure bear attractants ahead of winter

COQUITLAM — The city is asking residents to make sure their property is not a source of food for bears this fall.
City urges residents to secure garbage and dumpster bins to avoid attracting bears this fall.

With weather cooling down and days growing shorter, bears prepare to go into hibernation — and it begins with them actively seeking out easy food sources in the neighbourhoods.

Coquitlam officials are asking residents, homeowners and businesses to secure attractants, and make sure their property is not a source of food for bears this fall.

Hyperphagia is an increased feeding activity among bears during this season that helps them survive without food for months in their den, according to a news release. During which, they are drawn to unsecured garbage carts, dumpsters and other food sources near homes and businesses.

The City of Coquitlam is urging residents and businesses to keep bears away from their property by making sure all attractants including garbage, food scraps, pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders and dirty barbecues are out of reach of wildlife.

Tips include the following:

Secure your waste carts and bins

  • 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
  • Keep carts and bins odour-free by freezing smelly garbage and food waste until collection day and regularly cleaning them

Remove other attractants

  • Pick ripe fruit and berries and remove fallen fruit from the ground
  • Hang bird feeders high out of reach and clean up fallen seed;l
  • Keep pet food inside
  • Store refrigerators and freezers indoors
  • Keep garage doors closed and secure
  • Clean barbecues

Be a good neighbour

  • Help neighbours with their carts if they are away, work shifts or are elderly
  • Take Coquitlam’s Bear Smart Household Pledge at and receive a Bear Smart decal for display
  • Share what you know and encourage others to be bear smart

Report any bear activity

If you see a bear accessing attractants, call 604-927-3660 or email [email protected]. To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety or causes property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Do not feed bears. It is illegal to feed bears and other wildlife. For more information about bear safety and securing attractants, visit