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Conservation Office urging bear awareness behind the wheel

With bear season in full swing, the BC Conservation Service is asking residents to remember their bear awareness while they are behind the wheel.

The Conservation Office’s Deputy Chief Chris Doyle says bears are often attracted to the roadside by vegetation that grows earlier in the Spring than the rest of the forest. The resulting “bear jams” can be problematic.

“People stop to photograph the bears, look at the bears and feed them. The problems with that is it causes the bears to become habituated to people and causes bears to get hit by vehicles on the highway, because if they are getting fed they are going to be attracted to those cars.”

The Conservation Office says they have received 300 reports of bear / human conflicts since April 1st, however it’s still far too soon to predict what type of impact the early end to winter and El Nino will have on those numbers moving forward.

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Doyle noted that they are usually dependent on natural food sources such as berries to keep bears in the forest.

The BC Conservation Service received 15,000 reports of human / wildlife conflicts in 2015.

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