Transfer station attracts bears

Recently a sow and her two cubs discovered there was free food for the taking.

Recently a sow and her two cubs discovered there was free food for the taking while the Cariboo Regional District undergoes renovations at the Wildwood transfer station north of Williams Lake.

“We had an open bin during construction and the bears quickly got the idea they should go there,” said Mitch Minchau, the CRD’s manager of environmental services.

The three bears became so habituated the CRD decided to close public access to the station at night time and closed it from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. so it’s only open when there’s an attendant there.

Minchau said it has been working because the bears were only coming out at night and now that they don’t have access to the site, they’ve moved on.

“The local residents have been co-operative. People understand bears and how not to attract them.”

Once the renovations are completed the new site and new hours will be opening on Oct. 10, offering local recycling for area residents.

Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Services said his office hasn’t heard anything new about those particular bears, but his office did put one down a few weeks ago in Wildwood that was close to the dump.

“There have been so many complaints in and out of town, but it has slowed down the last couple of days with bears because it’s getting to be that time of year,” Butler said.

A few bears are still wandering around Williams Lake getting into fallen fruit and garbage, he added.

“We had some people that did not want to pick their fruit and we dealt with them, and we had other people that have been great. Unfortunately some bears become so habituated that we’re not going to get them out of town. We find they just go to another part of town,” Butler said.

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