British Columbia

Bears in Lower Mainland waking up early — and hungry

Time to lock up the garbage and put away the bird feeders. Bears are waking up early in the Lower Mainland, and they're hungry.

North Shore Black Bear Society says first bear sighting call came Monday morning

A black bear wanders through a suburban neighbourhood in Port Moody in 2015. The North Shore Black Bear Society says the organization got its first bear sighting call of 2016 on Monday morning. (Curt Petrovich/CBC)

Metro Vancouver wildlife officials are asking residents to take more care with their garbage now that bears have been spotted in the region.

Biologists say bears seem to be waking from hibernation earlier this year. That could mean homeowners will soon start seeing bears in their neighbourhood.

Christine Miller of the North Shore Black Bear Society says the organization got its first bear sighting call Monday morning.

"Somebody phoned from Riverside Drive in North Vancouver to say that a bear had been around [Sunday] night and broken into a storage area where they had some odorous garbage," she said.

With the forecast calling for a stretch of warm, sunny weather in the Lower Mainland, Miller says people should expect the bears to start waking up and looking for food.

And she says where they find a meal, they mark as a place to visit frequently.

"[People have] to be really diligent," she said. "Especially if they see any signs themselves of a bear in the neighbourhood."

She says homeowners should also take down bird feeders and any other food source that could be used by bears.

With files from Tim Weekes


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