A bear picks apples from a tree in Silver Creek in Hope, B.C. Residents are being asked to pick their trees clean so discourage this bear and others from loading up for hibernation in town. (Lesley Talarico photo)

Hope residents urged to clean off fruit trees to save bear’s life

Bear feasting on apple trees needs to be discouraged safely, says black bear education advocate

A bear is making the rounds in a residential Hope neighbourhood, cleaning off fruit trees and berry bushes as it gets ready for hibernation.

Bears need about 20,000 calories a day and feed for 20 hours a day leading up to the winter months, says Lydia Koot, chair of the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee.

But she says the bear that has been dining in Silver Creek has a better chance of survival if people get out and remove fruit from their trees, and as soon as possible. The more used to entering residential areas a bear becomes, and the more interactions it has with humans, is just part of what will lead to its death, she warns.

Police have already visited the area in an attempt to haze the bear, by shooting rubber bullets at it to discourage it from returning. That happened Wednesday night, but the bear was back as recently as Thursday evening, Koot says.

It’s imperative for people to keep their fruit trees picked, she explains, as fruit like apples offer a sweet dessert to the nearby spawning salmon at Silverhope Creek. A lack of fruit will keep the bear out of the area, in combination with familiar bear hazing techniques like the rubber bullets and bean bags officials shoot at them, or such as residents banging pots and pans when a bear is in their yard.

“Hazing the bear makes it have the connection that being around humans is not fun,” Koot says, and beyond bruises, the pellets do not cause lasting damage to a bear.

Silver Creek residents may not be as used to bear activity as those near Kawkawa Lake and other more remote Hope neighbourhoods, Koot says. She is a go-to person for the local Conservation Officers and RCMP, to help distribute information and tips to the public. It’s been about four years since there has been steady bear activity in Silver Creek, she says.

So far, Koot says the bear is just “acting like a bear” and not digging into people’s garbage or being aggressive with humans. So it has a good chance of survival if people get rid of all attractants.

“He will not go away until the fruit is gone,” she says. She has found fresh scat that is full of both apples and berries.

But the bear is in danger, she says. The more people try to get close to it, or hang around to take photos, the more commotion will surround the bear. If there is too much bear to human interaction, officials could move and kill it, she says.

Adding to the troubles is that the fruit season ended quickly with a deluge of rain, and there are likely fewer berries in the wild for local bears to feed on.

“I want to make the people realize that it’s up to them to keep him and any other bears out there safe,” Koot says.

She knows that not everyone is able to pick their trees clean, due to a number of barriers. She operates a gleaning program and is hoping people in Silver Creek will call her.

In the meantime, she says, stay away from the bears, don’t take photos, and give them their space.

For more information, phone 604-860-4558.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


A bear eats apples from the ground below a tree in Silver Creek in Hope, B.C. Residents are being asked to pick their trees clean so discourage this bear and others from loading up for hibernation in town. (Lesley Talarico photo)

Just Posted

Hope-raised NHL official among BC Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Jay Sharrers officiated 1,419 regular NHL games, plus Stanley Cup finals and Olympics

Sasquatch Mountain Aussie Day celebration raises $800

Proceeds of bikini runs, toonie tosses and more go to wildfire victims

How would crowded Fraser Valley hospitals deal with patient surge? Officials won’t say

Amid coronavirus case and crowding issues, health officials won’t say where more patients would go

DNA confirms SUV struck and killed Abbotsford cyclist in 2015, court hears

Kerry Froese operated company that owned vehicle that struck and killed Ronald James Scott in 2015

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

VIDEO: Canada looking to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Surrey massage therapist suspended for reading books on cellphone during treatments

Investigation sparked by patient who was concerned she’d been photographed

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Most Read