When planning a Summer vacation away think of the bears at home

Sadie Parr shares some tips on how to have a safe summer while travelling.

Sadie Parr

Golden Bear Aware Community Coordinator

Several residents in and around the Golden area take summer as an opportunity to “get away from it all.”

If you are going to be away from your residence, travel  plans should include bear-proofing your home.

Over the past week there have been at least two homes just south of Golden that have been “broken into” by bears motivated by hunger searching for an easy meal.  Experts agree that the careful management of bear attractants is the first and most important step in reducing this conflict between humans and bears.

Sadie Parr, Golden’s Bear Aware Community Coordinator asks that all vacationers thoroughly check their property for attractants before leaving so that they can remove or address them.  She feels that it is also very important to ensure that all windows and doors are securely closed and locked.

“A screened window may help to keep the air flowing, but it is not a barrier that will keep a bear out.  Imagine your unattended home as a campsite in rich bear habitat and practice due diligence,” advises Parr.

She adds, “Property damage resulting from a bear in your home can be expensive for the owner, and ultimately end up costing the bears its life. “

Parr would also like to encourage people going away to ask their friends and neighbours to help them ensure that garbage is only put on the curbside the morning of collection.

“Just ‘taking care of garbage’ by making sure it gets to the curb is not good enough when there are bears awake and searching for food.  Secure and clean storage of garbage is also a requirement when in Bear Country.”

To learn more about managing wildlife attractants visit the Bear Aware website www.bearaware.bc.ca.  Contact Sadie Parr within Golden if you have any questions.  She can be reached at 250-290-1222 or golden@bearaware.bc.ca.

Bear Aware gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Columbia Basin Trust, a regional corporation created to deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits for residents of the Columbia Basin.  Bear Aware would also like to thank its sponsors: the B.C. Conservation Foundation, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, and the Town of Golden.

To report a bear sighting or wildlife incident, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.