Warmer weather means bears are waking up from their winter slumber and conservation officers say that means people need to be aware.
The higher than normal snow pack this year means animals leaving their dens will have a tougher time finding food, and could drive the bears into residential areas looking for garbage, bird feeders and pet food left outside.
Provincial and city officials are reminding people to put their trash cans out the morning of garbage collection – not the night before – and have the city installed bear proofing hardware on your garbage cans.
People who fail to follow bear-aware guidelines risk city fines of $100, and provincial fines under the wildlife act of $230 up to $100,000.
Alberni Conservation Officer Dan Eichstadter says there won’t be any warnings this year.
If you see a bear in town you’re asked to call the RAP line, so Conservation Officers can keep tabs on the bears that come into town.
About 470 black bears had to be destroyed last year in B-C due to conflicts with people.