You can chew the scenery but that’s about it.
Due to increased bear activity, Coquitlam has banned food and garbage at Hockaday and Galette parks as well as Karley Crescent at the Coquitlam River.
Bears have been rummaging through garbage as well as getting into coolers and picnics at the three parks, according to the city’s environment manager Caresse Selk.
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“While the city has been collecting garbage more frequently, it has not been a deterrent for these determined bears,” Selk stated in a press release.
The ban was applauded by Tri-Cities Bear Aware Community Group member Judy Taylor-Atkinson.
“It’s a really good move,” Taylor-Atkinson said.
Once the attractants are removed, the bear activity should hopefully decrease, Taylor-Atkinson said, recalling when similar steps were taken in 2018 after a bear became accustomed to the food at White Pine Beach.
Speaking to the Dispatch, Taylor-Atkinson noted that bear activity in the parks has been a “problem for a while,” as park-goers leave garbage behind them.
While this summer’s bear activity isn’t “over-the-top unusual,” there do seem to be more bruins about this year, according to Taylor-Atkinson said.
“I’m really glad that Coquitlam is taking steps like this,” Taylor-Atkinson said. “Hopefully, this is going to work for those areas.”
While many Tri-Cities residents do their best to manage attractants like fruit trees, newcomers are sometimes surprised at the thin interface between city life and wildlife, she noted.
Besides new signs at the parks, bylaw officers are set to increase patrols to ensure park-goers don’t bring food into the parks and pack out any garbage they bring with them, according to the city.