The critical time of year has arrived again when bears reach the phase known as hyperphagia. During this time they will consume and seek as many food sources as possible and they will continue until all of these sources are exhausted. Many natural food supplies have or soon will be gone; this leads to bears travelling into areas outside of their home range. In the case of Prince George this means into the city. We at the Northern Bear Awareness Society are asking the residents of Prince George to be mindful of all attractants such as garbage containers, hummingbird feeders and fruit trees.
Garbage containers are the constant and most recognized attractant within the city. Sugar sources are of high priority for bears. This makes hummingbird feeders appealing. All hummingbirds should be gone by the first week of September. Now would be a good time to take down the feeders.
After garbage, apple and fruit trees are the next largest attractant for bears. Cleaning any windfall that is lying on the ground and clearing the tree of any ripe fruit will decrease the encounters with a bear in your yard.
There may be people out there with livestock who would be interested in receiving feed for their animals or an organization that supports those less fortunate. Deposing of fruit in the weekly waste collection just moves the problem from one source to the next and increases the possibility of a bear sensing the apples in the container before pick up. Revisions to the B.C. Wildlife Act state it is illegal to attract or feed dangerous wildlife, if caught, heavy fines may be issued from the Conservation Officers Service.
After the mating in late spring and early summer, the female bear may be carrying up to five fertilized eggs, but these will not implant until hibernation starts. How much weight the expectant mother has gained during the summer and fall months will determine how many of these eggs will implant and begin to grow. If a female bears diet has been supplemented with attractants such as garbage, birdseed, and apples her ability to give birth to larger litters is increased. Being proactive will help keep bears out of our neighborhoods which is good for us all, Please do not feed the bears.
Northern Bear Awareness Society