News Flash

City News

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Secure Attractants and Help Keep Bears Safe

Black bear on trail

COQUITLAM, B.C., June 30, 2022 – Coquitlam is reminding residents and businesses to make sure their property isn’t a source of food for bears.

Bears are currently being seen throughout the City with an increase in sightings in the Austin Heights, New Horizons and River Springs neighbourhoods. As a result, City staff are patrolling the community, with a focus on these areas, looking for attractants such as garbage and green carts put out early for collection.

Guided by massive appetites and a keen sense of smell, bears find unsecured garbage carts, dumpsters and other food sources near homes and businesses to be an irresistible draw. If you see a bear accessing attractants, please call 604-927-3500 or email urbanwildlife@coquitlam.ca.

Help Keep Bears Away

Residents can take simple steps to keep bears safe and prevent human-wildlife conflict, including:

  • Store garbage, food waste and recycling in a secure area that is inaccessible to wildlife, such as a locked garage or shed. Alternatively, residents can purchase or build a wildlife resistant enclosure to secure solid waste and prevent wildlife from accessing attractants;
  • Only place carts and bins at the curb after 5:30 a.m. on collection day—not the night before; and
  • Keep carts and bins odour-free by freezing smelly garbage and food waste until collection day and regularly cleaning them.

Property owners who allow wildlife to access attractants—even unintentionally—may receive a $500 fine. These rules are explained at www.coquitlam.ca/bearsmart

Unsecured Attractants Put Bears at Risk

Bears have a strong sense of smell, meaning it only takes one home’s garbage to attract a bear. Taking steps to make sure they don’t find an easy meal in your neighbourhood will help encourage them to forage in natural areas rather than backyards.

Unsecured garbage continues to be the most common bear attractant in Coquitlam. This is a problem because bears that become habituated to eating garbage can become unpredictable, and increase the risk to public safety.

It’s up to everyone to do their part to be bear smart. City staff are available to help provide tips and advice on how to make your property—and especially your garbage—less attractive to bears. 

For more information on securing attractants, visit www.coquitlam.ca/bearsmart

To report wildlife attractants, improper storage of attractants or wildlife accessing attractants, call the City at 604-927-3500 or email urbanwildlife@coquitlam.ca. To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety or causes property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Media contact:
Caresse Selk
Manager Environment
604-927-3500
urbanwildlife@coquitlam.ca

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