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Sunshine Coast Bears: How to keep us and them safe

There are a few things you can do to prevent unwanted encounters and to give our bears some respective space.
Black bears are out and about – property owners need to be careful about attractants.

Bears are emerging from their winter dens, so now is a good time to get prepared for bear season. There are a few things you can do to prevent unwanted encounters and to give our bears some respective space.  

Bears are highly intelligent, quick learners and have good memories. They are informed by their incredible sense of smell and will investigate any odours that may lead to a food reward.  

Attract birds not bears! Bring in bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders and attract birds with water or sand baths, flowering plants and shrubs or intermittent plate feeding, as long as any fallen seeds are collected.  

Fruit trees are a major attractant for our bears. Collect fallen fruit daily or pick before ripening. 

Feed pets indoors or bring used pet dishes inside immediately if you feed your pet outside. Never store pet food outside. Lock pet doors at night. 

If you have chickens, beehives and other small livestock, please use electric fencing to keep your animals protected. Store all livestock feed inside a bear proof enclosure. 

Store barbeques inside or in a bear proof shed. If grills must be kept outside, burn off food residues using high heat and clean grease traps after each use.  

Outdoor fridges and freezers are prohibited in certain areas of the Coast. If you do have these appliances on your property, keep them in an enclosed garage or a bear proof shed. Always keep garage doors closed when not in attendance. 

If you must store garbage and compost bins in an open carport, attach bins, ideally with a chain, to a stationary object so as to prevent tipping by a curious bear. Spraying the bins with Pine Sol may also help to deter a bear from accessing your garbage. 

Separate garbage, organics and recycling containers. Freeze odourous items and place in your garbage the morning of pick-up and only place bins at the curb the morning of collection for your area. 

Twenty-two cars containing attractants were accessed by bears last year. It is imperative to keep vehicles free of any food and beverages, used food and beverage containers, scented products and toiletries (even car air fresheners), pet food, bird seed, and recycling containers. Keep doors and windows locked at all times.  

While enjoying the outdoors, always alert bears to your presence. Call out “yo bear,” or clap your hands loudly – especially around loud water features where a bear may not be aware of your approach. Refrain from using headphones. 

Please keep your canine companions safe and on a leash. Also, an off-leash dog may chase a bear, and in turn, lead the bear back to you.  

Carry bear spray on a lanyard or in a holster. In the rare event of a close encounter bear spray can provide you and the bear a safe departure from the area. 

Go to to learn more about how you can coexist with our black bears or contact us at: [email protected]