Attend An Information Session On Co-Existing With Wildlife
The City of Port Coquitlam is offering a free information session for residents, to learn how to safely co-exist with bears and coyotes on Wednesday May 24 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) – Mabbett Hall – 2150 Wilson Avenue.
City staff will be offering an information session to be focused on bear and coyote behaviours in an urban environment, the role the animals play in the community and how to prevent conflict with humans.
Participants will learn how to keep bears and coyotes and their homes safe. Residents will learn practical and effective tips for managing bear attractants and responding to bear and coyote encounters safely. Attendees can share questions to be answered by City staff and Bylaws during Q&A period. Register online at portcoquitlam.ca/wildlife.
Residents and businesses can do their part and avoid a $500 fine by following the City’s garbage regulations:
- SECURE garbage and food scraps in either a wildlife-resistant enclosure (e.g. garage or shed) or by using the City’s wildlife-resistant cart lock
- SET OUT carts between 5:30-7:30 a.m. on collection day and re-secure your carts by 7:00 p.m.
Properties without secure storage space for carts are required to use a City cart lock, or certified alternative, at all times except for the day of collection. Instructions for proper lock use are available at portcoquitlam.ca/lockitright.
Residents who would like to request the additional third arm for added security or to be placed on a waitlist for a lock can contact Public Works at email@example.com or by phone at 604-927-5496.
The City’s Ambassador will be out in the community performing waste cart audits to ensure residents and businesses are securing their waste and removing other wildlife attractants.
The best protection against bears is to physically keep waste and other attractants out of reach:
- Keep carts in the garage or in an area not accessible to wildlife.
- Freeze meat and strong-smelling food scraps, and wait until collection day to put them into the green cart.
- Keep pet food inside.
- Clean barbecues after use and keep freezers indoors or locked up.
- Don’t store strong-smelling garbage (diapers, grease barrels) or scented products (pop cans, toothpaste tubes, hairspray, mouthwash, etc.) outside.
- Harvest fruit, berries and vegetables before or as they ripen, and clean up fallen fruit.
- Remove bird feeders from April to November, or suspend them high.
- Block access to small animals (chickens, rabbits) and berry bushes.
Bears are food driven and are feeding on natural and unnatural food sources including bird feeders, suet, chickens, rabbits and garbage. After bears find a meal once in a garbage cart, they quickly learn to check all the homes on a street and teach their cubs to do the same.
The increased bear activity in neighbourhoods is directly related to the availability of food. After bears find a meal once in a waste cart or from a backyard fruit tree, they quickly learn to return to the area and teach their cubs to do the same. These “garbage bears” lose their natural fear of humans and often become aggressive over time.
Be Cautious on the Trails:
- Travel with someone else or a group.
- Be alert where bears may not be able to see, hear, or smell you.
- Make noise (talk loudly, clap or sing) to let the bear know you are there.
- Keep children close and dogs on a leash at all times.
- Watch for fresh bear signs (droppings, tracks, scratches on trees, overturned boulders, or smashed logs).
- Never approach a bear – maintain a distance of at least 100 metres.
Residents can report unsecured wildlife attractants in their neighbourhood at portcoquitlam.ca/report, using the Report it App or by calling 604-927-3111.
Coyotes are naturally curious animals; however, they are timid and will usually run away if challenged. Coyotes start posing a risk to people when they lose their wariness and become comfortable around humans – this is usually a result of direct or indirect feeding by humans.
- Never feed coyotes or leave pet food (including bird seed) outside.
- Be mindful of where your children are and don’t leave them alone.
- Carry a loud whistle or other noisemaking device in areas that have coyotes.
- Always leash your dogs in on-leash parks. In off-leash areas, if coyotes are present or in the area, keep your dogs leashed. Shorter leashes keep dogs safer.
- Keep your cats indoors especially at night.
- Keep your waste bins locked
Bylaw Services staff is working with the Provincial Conservation Office to track bear and coyote activity and conduct proactive joint enforcement.
The public is also advised to call the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP or at rapp.bc.ca if they witness an aggressive or threatening bear or coyote or if there is a conflict that threatens public safety. This provides records for tracking wildlife encounters, which is essential in education and enforcement efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
For more information about regulations and resources, visit portcoquitlam.ca/bears or call 604.927.5496.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam