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Video: Bears coming out of hibernation — one recently spotted in a Coquitlam home's garbage

Coquitlam officials are reminding homeowners to secure all unnatural attractants, making sure they're inaccessible for all wildlife.
This bear was seen in the Coquitlam's River Heights area rummaging through a garbage collection cart.

Spring has sprung and it appears the sun will be sticking around for a while.

And with the new season means the possibility of wildlife emerging out of their winter dens in search of food, including bears.

One of which was spotted in Coquitlam's River Heights neighbourhood this weekend sniffing around a couple of garbage collection bins.

In a video sent to the Tri-City News (see below), the black bear appeared to have knocked both of them over in an attempt to find some lunch.

It then crawls on top of one of the carts before giving it a few more sniffs.

The recent sighting is serving as a reminder for all Tri-Cities homeowners to secure all unnatural attractants, including organics and recycling.

This is set to deter wildlife from returning to local neighbourhoods and reduce potential conflicts.

In Coquitlam, residents can be fined up to $500 for not correctly managing attractants on their property.

A total of 105 fines were issued to Coquitlam property owners in 2021 for breaking the bylaw on unsecured garbage.

2023 bear encounter update

Now, on a positive note, it appears there hasn't been much bear conflict reported in the Tri-Cities this year with the winter season ending not long ago.

As of this publication (March 28), WildSafeBC has recorded only four known bear sightings or encounters — two in Port Moody, one in Port Coquitlam and one in Coquitlam.

The ladder was posted to the organization's Wildlife Alert Reporting Program last Friday (March 24) north of Marguerite Park on Burke Mountain.

Since the start of 2023, WildSafeBC has reported 18 known wildlife sightings, primarily cougars and coyotes in heavily forested areas.

The provincial non-profit encourages residents to consider the following tips to reduce potential conflicts, especially those involving bears:

  • Keep your garbage in or secured until the day of collection. Garbage is the number one attractant cited in reports to the provincial hotline
  • Manage your fruit trees
    • Don’t let windfalls accumulate, and pick fruit as it ripens
    • If you don’t want the fruit, consider...
      • Accessing a fruit gleaning group in your community
      • Washing the blossoms off in the spring so the fruit doesn’t set
      • Replacing the tree with a non-fruit bearing variety
  • Don’t put out bird feeders when bears are active
    • A kilo of bird seed has approximately 8,000 calories and is a great reward for a hungry bear
  • Keep your compost working properly with lots of brown materials and a regular schedule of turning
  • If you have livestock or backyard chickens use a properly installed and maintained electric fence to keep bears and livestock apart

The public is also being reminded to check all of your surroundings when out in the backcountry as bears are known to hang out in trees.

@tricitynews Yogi be hungry. 🐻🗑️ #tricitynews #coquitlam #bears #bearsoftiktok #garbage #food ♬ I'm So Hungry - Karter Zaher