Here's what it looks like when a hungry bear wrecks a car
Monday, June 20, 2016, 12:38 PM - A British Columbia police department used Twitter to share a gentle reminder: Bears love it when you leave food in your car, but you won't love what they'll do to get it.
The West Vancouver Police Department shared pictures of the interior of a car that had been entered by a bear, and was totally wrecked in the process. The damage was discovered Sunday, and police were called.
"Bear fur and extensive claw marks were noted throughout the vehicle. Damage ... is estimated at $10,000," a police release said Monday. "It appears a bear was drawn to the vehicle by a sizeable quantity of food being temporarily stored inside."
The incident occurred in West Vancouver's British Properties area, where Police spokesman Cpl. Trevor Griffiths told the CBC increased bear activity had been observed over the past two years.
Police and conservation officers warn not to leave out food or other items that might attract bears to cars or residential neighbourhoods. Even a used food wrapping could be enough to entice a visit, and bears don't forget a place known to be rich in easy snacks.
"Once a location becomes identified to the bear as a food source they will return, the bear's fear of human contact is reduced, and risks posed to humans by the bear increase," the police warn.
Here are some bear safety tips offered by the West Vancouver police that could just as easily apply to other bear-prone areas:
- Place garbage at curb side no sooner than 5am on the morning of pickup.
- Store all garbage in your house, garage, shed or other secure enclosure.
- Regardless of where your store your garbage container, keep it clean and odour-free.
- Freeze smelly items, such as meat trays and the skin and bones of poultry and fish, until the morning of pickup.
- Keep diapers inside. There are products on the market that enable indoor storage.
- Remove all bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders, until the winter.
- Ensure that barbecues are kept odour-free. Turn them on high for 10 minutes when you are finished cooking and scrub off the food remnants. Remove any grease catchers and take indoors. (Do not store the propane tanks indoors.)
- Pick fruit from trees as soon as it is ripe, and remove any fruit that falls to the ground.
- Turn compost to reduce smells. Only add raw fruit and vegetables and yard trimmings, and keep a lid on the bin. Metro Vancouver has a helpful brochure available atwww.metrovancouver.org
- Keep pet food inside.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers inside.