Sep 13, 2017 Return to Headlines

Bears Begin Fall Feeding – Secure Your Attractants

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, September 13, 2017 – With fall just around the corner, local area bears are starting to bulk up for their winter denning period. Coquitlam residents are reminded to secure attractants that might encourage bears to visit their property for food sources.

Bears need extra calories at this time of year in order to prepare for their winter denning period. During this phase called hyperphagia, they are biologically driven to find food. Residents are reminded to take the following actions to make their home and property wildlife-resistant including:

  • Store garbage, food waste and recycling in a secure area that is inaccessible to wildlife;
  • keep pet food inside;
  • pick fruit from outdoor trees including ripe, fallen produce;
  • suspend or remove bird feeders and clean up any fallen seed;
  • clean barbeques; and
  • place their Garbage, Green and Recycling Carts at the curb after 5:30 a.m. on collection day not the night before.

It is a resident’s responsibility to make sure their waste doesn’t attract wildlife as outlined in Coquitlam’s Solid Waste Management Bylaw and Wildlife & Vector Control Bylaw. So far in 2017, Coquitlam has issued 395 tickets of $500 (discounted if paid early) and 4742 warnings to households for not complying with these bylaws.

Feeding wildlife is also illegal in BC, defined in the Province's Wildlife Protection Act. Residents who fail to manage their waste and other attractants correctly can expect to receive a $500 fine from the City.

About Bear Activity in Coquitlam

Coquitlam continues to generate the highest call volume of bear sightings to the BC Conservation Officer Service, and this year is shaping up to be another record year for bear sightings. So far in 2017, the City has already received more than 1038 service requests from residents calling with concerns about wildlife attractants such as unsecured garbage and other related issues. Throughout 2016, the City received a record 1,380 calls, a 154 per cent increase over the preceding four-year average.

Coquitlam residents are reminded that bears can be dangerous and unpredictable. If you see a bear, stop and remain calm. Often, the bear is just passing through and if it finds no food source, it will simply move on. Do not scream, yell or run. Talk in a low and calm voice while backing away slowly, keeping at least 100 metres from the bear and warn others to do the same. To report wildlife that is aggressive or causing property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).


More information:

Media contact:
Steffanie Warriner
Manager, Environmental Services
Engineering & Public Works
P: 604-927-3536