WildsafeBC: Young Edgewater artist wins WildSafeBC contest

A winner for the province-wide WildSafeBC colouring contest was drawn and Daven McMurray from Edgewater Elementary has won the grand prize.

A winner for the province-wide WildSafeBC colouring contest was drawn and Daven McMurray from Edgewater Elementary has won the grand prize: a WildSafeBC hat and $50. Across the province children of all ages submitted a WildSafeBC colouring sheet which contained a checklist for them to make their yard bear-friendly. Our community alone had 127 children in the contest and there were approximately 1,000 colouring sheets entered throughout the province. Congratulations Daven and all the children for helping our community minimize human-bear conflicts.

Hopefully now most, if not all, bears have gone to sleep the winter away. A bear could potentially stay awake much later than normal if it still has easy access to food and there has been the odd report of bears accessing garbage and outdoor freezers. If you see any bears please call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

The WildSafeBC season is wrapping up at the end of this month. This year has been an interesting one, with a greater number of bears in town this fall accessing non-natural food right in the heart of both Radium Hot Springs and Invermere. So far, one bear has been destroyed in Invermere, plus many more in the valley due to becoming human-food conditioned or

habituated to people. There also appears to have been a rise in skunks populating our community and I’ve heard a few people mention more pack rats than usual. Deer of course are very present, and with very polarized public views, education about deer and managing deer attractants has been extremely challenging.

I will be presenting the year end report at the District of Invermere council meeting on Tuesday, November 26th, and the Village of Radium Hot Springs on Wednesday, November 27th. Feel free to attend if you would like to find out more information about WildSafeBC and the wildlife in town. I would like to thank everyone in the valley that took the time to manage their attractants appropriately this year. I also would like to thank the Conservation Officer service, all of our volunteers and most importantly our sponsors.

To report any aggressive deer or wildlife sightings in our communities, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. For more information on WildSafeBC contact Crystal Leonard, WildSafeBC Community Co-ordinator at 250-688-0561, invermere@wildsafebc.com or radium@wildsafebc.com; and visit the WildSafeBC website at www.wildsafebc.com.

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