* Please note, the City of Nelson's bear-resistant bin program is no longer active. We have sold all of the bear-resistant bins in our inventory. We are continuing to focus our efforts on replacing garbage bins in City parks and downtown with bear-resistant bins. *
For information and education on non-domestic animal control, including skunks, raccoons and bears, please contact Nelson, BC WildsafeBC Coordinator at 250-551-6376.
Be aware! People and bears are sharing space all over British Columbia so it's important that we learn how to live with them harmoniously. More than 600 bears are killed every year in British Columbia because of bear-human conflicts.
Bears have a very keen sense of smell and are easily attracted to improperly managed garbage. Bears that forage on easily accessible fruit are also drawn close to neighbourhoods and to other sources of food such as compost, bird feeders and barbeques. Bears may break into sheds or homes to find what they can smell from a distance. Bears quickly become habituated to these foods and spend more time in the city near homes and businesses. Habituated bears are perceived as a safety risk and are shot.
Bears cannot change their behaviour - but we can. We can prevent this safety risk and the needless deaths of bears by removing and managing attractants.
Bears in Your Neighbourhood
Keep Garbage Out of Reach
Garbage is not healthy for bears. When bears learn that garbage means food, they come back to it again and again.
Residents are reminded that the City's Waste Management and Wildlife Attractant Bylaw requires that all garbage be safely stored so it is not accessible by wildlife. Store garbage and recycling indoors, in a sturdy shed or in a bear-resistant garbage container. Garbage should be brought to the curb only on the morning of your designated garbage pick-up day (by 7 a.m. but not before 5 a.m.).
Compost Responsibly & Pick All Ripe Fruit
Bears are omnivores and love eating vegetation, berries and other fruits. Make sure your backyard isn't providing lunch for bears! Check for these bear attractants:
- Compost responsibly
- Feed pets indoors
- Freeze smelly garbage (like chicken and fish)
- Keep garbage containers clean
- Keep your barbeque clean
- Pick fruit as it ripens
- Remove bird feeders between April and November
- Remove unwanted fruit trees
- Store pet food indoors
Remember a Fed Bear is a Dead Bear
Feeding bears, even unintentionally, is against the law in British Columbia (see the Dangerous Wildlife Protection Act - Section 88.1) Report Bear Encounters
To report an aggressive bear / dangerous encounter (bluff charging, property damage) or a bear sighting, please call the RAPP number 877-952-7277. A call to the RAPP line puts you in touch with an operator who can provide advice and will contact a Conservation Officer if further action is necessary. You can also contact the Nelson Police Department about bear safety issues in the City of Nelson by calling 250-354-3919.
Contact the Bear Aware Coordinator
Bear Aware is a community education program administered by the BC Conservation Foundation and is funded by the Province, the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the City of Nelson. The City of Nelson supports this provincial program to help raise awareness of bears in the community and to educate residents about how they can take action to minimize bear-human contact.