Bear Smart

Bear Smart

Secure Your Waste to Protect Your Home and Neighbourhood

Bears attracted to your neighbourhood by garbage eventually become a problem for everyone, including conservation officers and the police.  Help reduce these conflicts and prevent bears from being needlessly destroyed by keeping garbage and other attractants away from bears.  In addition to garbage, bears and other wildlife are attracted to: pet food, barbeque grills, compost (in piles, not composters), bird feed, grease barrels, petroleum products, and chemical products.

Bears Live to Eat . . . Consuming up to 25,000 Calories a Day

Black bears are opportunists, always on the lookout for "easy" calories.  While searching for food in their natural environment bears often find their way into residential areas.  With their keen sense of smell bears are driven to investigate.  Once they discover human food or garbage, bears will continue to seek it out within our community and become "food conditioned".

Bears in pursuit of human food sources may damage property or, in rare cases, cause injury to people.  Carelessly stored garbage, bird feeders, pet foods and barbeques are open invitations for bears and often causes them to pay with their lives for human mistakes.

Helpful Tips:

  • Review the City of Port Alberni Solid Waste Management Bylaw
  • Never store your garbage outside, unless it is in an approved bear-proof container or bear proofed enclosure.
  • Do not put garbage curb-side until morning of pick up.
  • It may only take one time to condition a bear to human garbage.
  • Do not store food in outdoor fridges or freezers.
  • As an alternative to hummingbird feeders, use bird baths or plant red or pink native flowers that are known to appeal to hummingbirds.
  • Burn barbeque and clean immediately after use.
  • Store them indoors, if possible leave the propane tank outside.
  • Always remove the grease can, store it indoors.
  • Do not leave any food unattended outside, the smell from barbecuing travels a long distance.
  • Feed your pets inside and store their food inside.
  • Do not leave dog bones lying around in your yard.
  • Harvest fruits as soon as they ripen.
  • Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
  • Electric fence orchards & bee hives in areas where bears are a problem.
  • Plant non-fruit bearing trees/shrubs when landscaping.

Reporting Bear Sightings

If you see a bear that is going about its regular business such as walking through your yard, trails, or open park spaces, don't panic, leave it alone and do not cut off its escape path.  It is normal for bears to roam through urban areas, especially as development encroaches on their space.  Please report these sightings, bears in garbage sightings, and encounters with aggressive bears to:

Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline 1.877.952.RAPP (7277) 

Bear Smart Community

The City of Port Alberni has been designated by the Province of BC as an official Bear Smart Community.  The Bear Smart Community program recognizes the preventative conservation measures taken by communities, businesses and individuals to work together to address the root causes of human-bear conflicts. 

What it Takes to be a Bear Smart Community

Alberni Valley Bear Hazard Assessment Report