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Prince George RCMP flooded with bear complaints

Here’s what the RCMP would like city residents to do if they see a bear
This adult bear appears well-fed as it wanders across a yard at McDermid Drive and Tabor Boulevard in Prince George.

There have been an unusually high number of bear reports made to Prince George RCMP in the first two weeks of August.

“While seeing a bear up close can be alarming to residents, it is important for everyone to understand what to do during a bear encounter,” Cpl. Jennifer Cooper, media relations officer for the Prince George RCMP, said in a release.

Here’s what the RCMP would like city residents to do if they see a bear:

- While the Conservation Officer Service is interested in tracking bear sightings in urban areas, the police are an emergency response agency that should only be contacted if the bear poses an immediate threat to public safety.

- If you see a bear that is going about its regular bear business such as walking through your yard, trails, or open park spaces, don’t panic: leave it alone and do not cut off its escape path. It is not unusual for bears to occasionally roam through urban areas, especially as development encroaches on wild space. Report the sighting to the COS.

- Bears are attracted to a number of human-produced, non-natural attractants such as garbage, BBQs, ripe fruit and bird feeders. To report a bear conflict or aggressive bear, call the COS 24hr Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

- A $300 fine can be issued for keeping wildlife attractants such as fruit, bird feeders, or garbage accessible to bears and other wildlife.

- Set your garbage cart at the curb only between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. on collection days. Failing to follow this bylaw regulation will result in a $100 fine. Keep your garbage secure at all other times.

- Check out the City of Prince George’s Learn to be Bear Smart information sheet (in English only) for more helpful tips.

- If the bear poses an immediate threat to public safety, call 9-1-1 for police response.

To report a wildlife attractant bylaw infraction, such as garbage cans being put out too early, contact Prince George Bylaw Services at 1-250-561-7622 or [email protected]