A recent apple picking trip to a friend’s home outside Terrace got a little hair-raising for a northwest BC woman when a couple of grizzly bears began prowling the property.
Gladys Radek says she and her friend were forced inside and basically locked down for two hours as the bears foraged for food around the Copper River Estates home east of Terrace Friday.
Radek says the bears couldn’t seem to get enough of the raspberry bushes, apples, and compost. A bear later returned, destroying garbage cans in pursuit of more food.
The BC Conservation Officer Service says it is aware of grizzly activity in Copper River Estates. CO Scott Senkiw says he has been following up on each report, making patrols of the neighbourhood, and speaking with a number of the residents about behaviour and general bear activity.
Senkiw says the bear or potentially bears aren’t believed to be food-conditioned, but he says the neighbourhood is in a natural corridor and has a bounty of food sources. He says those two facts combined with the possibility of human attractants like garbage compounds the potential for bear sightings.
The CO Service says it’s peak bear season, and while bear sightings are to be expected, it is asking residents to manage attractants like fruit trees and garbage. If that can be done, Senkiw says bears will move on to other natural food sources.
Senkiw says if bears do start to show signs of aggression, food conditioning, or habituation, Conservation Officers will take steps to remove them, adding public safety is the Service’s main priority.