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Port Coquitlam residents reminded to be aware of bears

(Source: The Canadian Press)
Summary

Put your bins out early in the morning on the day of pickup and take them inside before 7 p.m.

Keep outdoor freezers locked up, and if you have fruit trees, harvest the fruit before it falls to the ground

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) –¬†For people in Port Coquitlam, it’s that time of year again – bears are waking up from hibernation and looking for an easy meal. The city has sent out a list of tips to help you avoid any unwanted encounters with the lumbering animals.

Tom Madigan, Manager of Solid Waste and Fleet Services with Port Coquitlam, says it all starts with your garbage.

“We want them to use locks to lock up the garbage cans and then secure them,” says Madigan. “Put them in their garage, keep them out of sight and out of mind, away from bears.”

You should also put your bins out early in the morning on the day of pickup and take them inside before 7 p.m.

He says otherwise, make sure you keep your yard clean of things that could attract bears.

“Some people like to put all their pet food outdoors, whether it’s dogs or cats, it could be bird feeders,” says Madigan. “And fruit trees or vegetables, they’re not producing yet, but in the fall, that’s another issue.”

He says you should also keep outdoor freezers locked up, and if you have fruit trees, harvest the fruit before it falls to the ground.

A release from Port Coquitlam notes bears that routinely feed on residential garbage often lose their natural fear of humans and become aggressive over time.

That means conservation officers are forced to destroy or remove them, but relocation often doesn’t work. The release notes an estimated 50 per cent of bears find their way back.