OUR VIEW: Renewing efforts to leave wildlife alone

Spring is a time for renewal, as they say, and it is also a time to renew the call and remind people not to feed wildlife.

The issue of deer and bears in the area feeding on items that are anything but natural is a hot-button topic and people should avoid feeding deer and should take measures to ensure that bears don’t get into garbage or composted

material. Nature didn’t intend such refuse as pizza crusts to be part of a bear’s diet or for deer to get nourishment from someone in the city and both species feeding on unnatural sources could lead to death.

Much to their credit, many people are compassionate but giving into emotion and feeding deer can have adverse affects, with one negative effect being deer wandering the city meeting an untimely end with the bumper of a car or truck.

Bears are more of a relevant issue now as many are coming out of hibernation and are hungry after a winter-long nap and while local conservation officers say that there haven’t been many calls as of yet, that could all change as the weather becomes warmer.

Unlike deer, not many bears are fed by people and instead, search for food by foraging through improperly secured garbage, recycle and compost containers.

Bears also can get to pet food left out in the open and fruit that has fallen from trees; they are intelligent and if they see an easy source of food, will take advantage instead of searching – garbage has been sited as the biggest attractant to bears in 2010 by the Revelstoke Bear Aware Society.

Local conservation is constantly preaching the need not to feed deer and there are programs out there, like Christina Lake’s Bear Aware Program, that seek to reduce the number of conflicts between bear and man and people should educate themselves on what not to do.

Reducing the number of opportunities for bears to get an “easy meal” and resisting the urge to feed deer is much better for the health and well-being of the said wildlife.

It’s the way that nature intended it to be.

– The Grand Forks Gazette

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