Kelowna is home to many types of urban wildlife. As our population and urban areas grow, habitat and natural food sources available for wildlife diminish. This is why we find these animals in our neighbourhoods, seeking out garbage for food and our backyards for shelter. This makes it an ideal location to live, not only for us, but for many types of wildlife including:
These animals are part of our environment, but can become pests and unwanted visitors if we attract them to public and private property. It is important that we avoid inviting wildlife to our properties by removing attractants such as garbage, bird feeders, compost, ripe fruit, dirty BBQs and pet food and limiting access to areas that wildlife may use as a den such as under or in sheds or wood piles.
Garbage is not healthy for bears and wildlife. When bears learn that garbage means food, they return to it again and again. To reduce bears and urban wildlife coming into the neighbourhood, remove attractants from your backyard that could provide food and shelter for these animals. If you encounter threatening wildlife:
- Do not run
- Make yourself look big
- Be loud and aggressive
Report any sightings, and if you encounter threatening wildlife that is aggressive, breaking into buildings or causing property damage, please call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 or contact a Conservation Officer.
Protect Your Home and Property
- Keep garbage out of reach
- Don't plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs unless you are willing to clean up all of the fruit
- Remove bird feeders
- Compost responsibly
- Remove attractants from your backyard
- Install a fence (please refer to Section 7 of the City's Consolidated Zoning Bylaw No. 8000)
- Contact your local nursery or the Okanagan Xeriscape Association to learn more about wildlife-resistant plants, drought-resistant plants and landscaping
- Do not feed wildlife, feeding wildlife, including bears is illegal in BC (Dangerous Wildlife Protection Act section 33.1 and 88.1)
- Residents can be fined for not managing their waste correctly; it is your responsibility to not attract wildlife (Solid Waste Management Regulation Bylaw)
If you are concerned about wildlife in your yard or on public property or want more information about becoming wildlife safe, please contact WildSafeBC at 250-828-2551 ext. 110.