Sgt. James Zucchelli of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service responded to a black bear sighting Friday in Oliver. (file photo)

Black bear sighted in South Okanagan

Young black bear sighted at Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course in Oliver.

It may be the dead of winter but at least one black bear is still out and about in the South Okanagan.

On Friday afternoon the B.C. Conservation Officer Service responded to a pair of calls from people who spotted what appeared to by a young black bear at Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course in Oliver.

“At this time of year it’s not that common but it’s definitely not unusual, there’s lots of good bear habitat right around there, so when the temperature goes up and their metabolism kicks in, they will wake up and go on a little tour trying to locate any easy food sources,” said Conservation Officer Sgt. James Zucchelli, who responded to the reports of the sightings.

“The calls came in one after the other and the bear was seen running down the fairway next to Tucelnuit Drive. There was a patrol done on the road and we walked up and down the fairway and there was no sign of it.

“But the message is out there to people, to keep your attractants secure, garbage and compost and bird seed, those are the most common ones and call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP telephone) if there is a wildlife conflict.”

READ MORE: ‘Garbage-fed bears are dead bears’ – Penticton conservation officer

Zucchelli added one of the callers indicated the bear appeared to have an injured front paw, however the second caller did not. At this point, an injury has not been confirmed.

The COS has not received any further reports of bear sightings in the region.

“We messaged the golf course with regards to the management of the attractants and to give us a call if they see the bear,” he said. “It was last seen inside the golf course but there’s lots of little gullies and lots of terrain a bear could easily disappear into.

“It’s not uncommon for bears to wake up and come out of the den and tour around just stretch their legs and have a look around to see what’s going on and then if it stays cold they go back to bed.”

For more information on what to do when you spot wildlife, click here.


 

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