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Bears! Who you gonna call?

Bears! Who you gonna call?

WildSafeBC is a program designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict and they are happy to announce that the program, in its fifth year, has Marina Stjepovic as its new Community Coordinator for the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s all about keeping wildlife wild, and our communities safe, and a big part of that is eliminating attractants such as garbage or other unnatural food sources,” says Stjepovic. “These attractants readily draw wildlife into our communities and once they become conditioned to humans, they can develop aggressive behaviours that put people at risk.”

With funding from the Province, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, the Sunshine Coast Rod and Gun Club and Lehigh Hanson, the program will offer the services of a part-time Coordinator from May 15 to November 30.

Each year on the Sunshine Coast, 600 to 1,200 calls about bears are received by the provincial Conservation Officers Service reporting hotline.  Also reported to the hotline are calls about cougar, deer, coyotes and other wildlife in conflict with humans.  These reports and locations can be viewed by the public at: www.wildsafebc.com/warp/

WildSafeBC plays an important, proactive role in dealing with wildlife in our communities.  “If we can get our message out there, more people will be aware of how their own actions impact our wildlife, and we can try to prevent the problems from occurring in the first place,” says Stjepovic.

In her role as an educator, Stjepovic will visit neighbourhoods where problems have been reported, attend community events and deliver the Junior Ranger program to schools this fall.  You can reach her at 604-885-6800 ext. 6476, or for more information please see www.wildsafebc.com.

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