WildSafeBC is a program that was developed by the BC Conservation Foundation and is a direct descendant of the very successful Bear Aware program, which has run since 1999. WildSafeBC’s motto "keeping wildlife wild - and communities safe" underscores the belief that if we can keep wildlife living in the wild we can, in turn, make our communities safer for us and keep wildlife from coming to harm.
WildSafeBC has found that if wildlife is kept from becoming food-conditioned or habituated to the presence of humans, then they retain their natural wariness of humans and the potential for conflict can be greatly reduced.
WildSafeBC provides conflict reduction advice for all types of wildlife – everything from bears, coyotes, cougars, deer, raccoons and even rattlesnakes for those communities that have them.
Residents concerned about wildlife in their community can contact Wildsafe BC by email at Invermere [at] wildsafebc [dot] com, radium [at] wildsafebc [dot] com or by calling the RAPP line.
WildSafeBC gratefully acknowledges the support of Columbia Basin Trust, The District of Invermere, and The Village of Radium Hot Springs. Without their support this valuable program would not exist.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AT WILDSAFEBC COLUMBIA VALLEY!
Wildlife safety tips:
Urban deer are becoming more of a problem in communities throughout BC. Normally timid animals, if they become habituated to humans, they can become dangerous. Once established in a neighbourhood, they become hard to remove, so it is important to ensure that the deer do not become comfortable in your yard. Here are some tips:
Deer safety tips:
For more information, refer to Wildsafe BC's "DEER" brochure -click here for an online version.
The Radium-Stoddart herd are seen within the Village and on the slopes adjacent to the highway leading out of Radium. The rams are distinguished by their large, curled horns, while the females have shorter horns. These animals may appear tame and oblivious to passersby, but don't be fooled. They are still WILD animals, and need to be treated with caution and respect.
Sheep safety tips:
If you would like to read more about the bighorn population, visit the Friends of Kootenay Website - www.friendsofkootenay.ca.
Black Bears can be found throughout the Province of BC. Grizzlies may be found everywhere except on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs supports the Bear Aware Program, which is an educational program aimed at helping to reduce human-bear conflicts through education, innovation and cooperation. Keeping your house bear-proof will help keep you, your family and neighbours from encountering bears in your community.
Bears have insatiable appetites and are natural scavengers. Once they find an easy food source, they will return to that source if it is still available. When a bear encounters humans and does not experience any negative results from that encounter, the bear becomes habituated. This may lead to the bear becoming quite bold and aggressive in its search for food. Once a bear becomes food-conditioned, it usually cannot be rehabilitated and relocation does not work.
We all need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that we aren't attracting bears to our homes and businesses. These steps include, but aren't limited to:
If you would like more information on how to avoid attracting bears to your home, please visit the WildsafeBC website (see box for link).
Cougars are mostly found in the southern third of BC. They favour rocky and mountain terrain, but will also live in forested and open areas, travelling long distances in search of food. Little is known about what triggers an attack, but we do know that younger children and small pets are most vulnerable to these attacks. A cougar will typically attack from behind its prey, delivering a crushing bite to the spine or base of the skull. Cougars feed mainly on deer, but will eat most animals, including house pets, coyotes and black bear cubs.
Many of the safety precautions recommended for bear encounters are also applicable to encounters with cougars. They are:
If, despite taking precautions, you encounter a cougar, do as follows: