Living with Wildlife: Bears

One of the main reasons bears enter a neighbourhood is due to mismanaged garbage. The bears cannot change their behaviour, but we can.

Here are some great tips that Coquitlam’s Urban Wildlife Coordinator shared with us about reducing bear attractants in your yard.

Reduce Bear Attractants:

  • Store garbage indoors, in your garage or shed, in a sturdy bear proof container. Freeze meat and smelly food scraps and add them to your garbage on pick up day to minimize the scent
  • Garbage, recycling and yard trimmings must be placed on the curb/lane no earlier than 5:30am and no later than 7:30am on collection days
  • Clean your barbeque grill after each use and cover it when it is not in use. Burn grease off the grill by turning the burners on high for 20 minutes with the lid closed
  • Place birdfeeders out of bears reach and keep the ground free of seeds
  • Use a proper compost bin, turning your compost regularly. Do not put meat, fish, fat, oils, unrinsed eggshells or any cooked food in the compost
  • Bring pet dishes indoors

From the City of Coquitlam’s Living with Urban Wildlife brochure:

If You See A Bear In Your Yard:

  • Stop and remain calm, determine what the bear is doing.
  • Give the bear plenty of space.
  • Don’t scream, yell, or run – don’t become a threat.
  • Talk in a non-threatening calm voice while backing away from the area.
  • Leave the area slowly.
  • If walking a larger dog, keep it on leash for better control in case of a bear sighting.
  • When inside, you may use an air horn or loud noise to let the bear know it is not welcome in your yard.

If You See A Bear In Your Neighbourhood:

  • Remain calm. Often, the bear is just passing through and if it finds no food source, will simply move on.
  • Keep away from the bear and warn others to do the same.
  • Never approach or run away from the bear.
  • Bring your children and pets into the house.

Remember, the City of Coquitlam has strict rules about keeping garbage away from bears, and failing to do so may result in a $500 fine.