Bears in Prince George
Prince George's geographic location between two rivers and with surrounding forests make it an ideal habitat for bears. Every year an average of 35 bears are destroyed when they become used to unnatural food sources like garbage or fruit grown in gardens. Bears may even delay hibernation if garbage is available.
Bears that have grown used to foraging for food amongst humans often cannot be successfully relocated into the wilderness. Most will find their way back to urban areas to scavenge.
The City is installing "Bear Aware" signs this Spring in higher hazard parks and green spaces to help reduce human-bear conflicts.
These areas have been ranked with a bear hazard rating based on criteria such as proximity to the major rivers and larger forested areas that attract bears.
Signage includes instructions on how to stay safe in bear country and how to report a bear sighting.
For more information:
Bear Smart Community
Prince George is working in partnership with the B.C. Conservation Office Service, the Fraser-Fort George Regional District, the Province of B.C., and the Northern Bear Awareness Society to become a designated Bear Smart community.
The City recently introduced 300 bear-resistant garbage carts to a neighbourhood in the Hart and are looking at other ways to help make Prince George a safe Bear Smart community.
AVOID HUMAN-BEAR CONFLICTS
- Set your garbage cart at the curb between
4:00am and 7:00pm on collection days. Failing to follow this bylaw regulation will result in a $300 fine.
- Lock your garbage cart in an enclosed structure like a garage or shed where possible.
- Secure your garbage cart with a locking mechanism such as a flat hook cam strap.
BEAR SMART TIPS
- Avoid growing fruit-bearing trees or plants on your property and remove any ripe fruit and vegetables.
- Clean outdoor barbecues and grease traps regularly.
- Feed pets indoors and remove bird feeders during the spring to autumn months.
- Rinse out all recycling materials.
STAY SAFE IN BEAR COUNTRY
- Make noises and speak loudly when walking or biking to alert bears in the area.
- Travel in a group whenever possible.
- Use officially marked trails and only hike or bike during daylight hours.
- Keep pets on leashes at all times, even in off-leash areas as bears can become aggressive if they mistake unleashed dogs as predators.
IF YOU SEE A BEAR...
- Maintain a safe distance, especially if it is a mother bear and her cubs.
- Stop, remain calm, and do not face away, scream, or run.
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
- Report an aggressive bear or injured animal to the Conservation Officer Service through the 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).
BEAR SMART BYLAWS
City bylaw regulations require residents to manage bear attractants such as garbage and fruit at home. This includes only placing your garbage cart at the curb between
4:00am and 7:00pm only on collection days.