Bears got into garbage left out in Lake Country Sunday, Sept. 20. (Cheryl Mazey photo)

‘Fed bears are dead bears’ Okanagan residents warned

Several bears spotted near Okanagan Rail Trail, and getting into garbage

Several bears spotted in the area have prompted a bear aware warning to residents.

Fish in Wood Lake and nearby creeks and ripening fruit in the orchards are drawing bears into the valley as they bulk up for winter, bringing them into local neighbourhoods.

“Wow, what beautiful creatures share the community with us human folk,” the district of Lake Country said. “Please be bear aware as you enjoy the Okanagan Rail Trail along the east side of Wood Lake between Winfield and Oyama.”

There have also been issues of people leaving their garbage out and bears getting into it.

“A fed bear is a dead bear,” resident Cheryl Mazey said on a Facebook post. “Please remember to keep garbage inside until pickup day.”

Along with keeping bears safe, Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail remind users to stay safe.

“If possible travel in a group and make some noise so any bears are aware of your presence,” the group said. “Bears fishing for food may not hear you over the noise of the water. If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it.

“Whenever possible avoid encounters with bears as they can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs. Bears also have excellent senses of smell and hearing and better sight than you might believe. Unless otherwise designated, dog owners are reminded their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times in order to avoid any potentially serious wildlife encounter.”

READ MORE: Bears hike rail trail near Vernon

READ MORE: Bird feeders attracting bears in Okanagan


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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