Bears are awake and looking for their first spring feast

News Article

The recent onset of warm weather has prompted increased wildlife activity in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). Black bears are emerging from their winter denning and looking for calorie-rich meals after months of fasting. Extra caution should be taken with sows that have new cubs.

Convenient, unnatural food sources draw wildlife into communities, creating safety concerns for wildlife and residents. Bears can smell five times better than dogs. Rats and raccoons are also well-adapted to smell out possible food sources.

Avoid attracting bears and other wildlife to your neighborhood by:

  • Storing all garbage in a secure area, preferably a lockable garage or shed.
  • Washing all food and recyclable containers thoroughly before placing in bins or setting aside for depot drop-off. This can be done using a diluted bleach and water mix in a spray bottle.
  • Freezing potentially smelly leftovers or scraps, especially meat and fish, and waiting until just before pick-up to place them in the garbage container outside.
  • Removing bird feeders. Birdseed is a very high calorie snack for a hungry bear.
  • Waiting until the morning of pick-up to put the garbage on the curb for collection.

B.C. has the largest population of black bears in North America, and interactions within the RDOS reached new highs in 2022.

Please report wildlife conflicts or sightings in urban areas to the Conservation Officer Service anytime at
1-877-952-7277. These reports are uploaded daily to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at This allows the public to see if wildlife has been reported in their neighborhood and be alerted to new sightings.

We can all do our part to reduce conflicts with wildlife. This will help keep wildlife wild and communities safe.

For further information, please call Shelley Fiorito, RDOS WildSafeBC Community Coordinator at 250-490-4110 or visit


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen


Shelley Fiorito
RDOS WildSafeBC Community Coordinator

Jessica Browne

RDOS Toll Free



RDOS Communications