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Tri-Cities wildlife complaints up as workshop aims to educate about bears, coyotes

BC Conservation Officers statistics show a jump in calls, complaints about wildlife in urban areas of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.
A coyote walks past a bear along a city road in the Tri-Cities. | Tony Dodge/City of Port Coquitlam.

Wildlife calls are on the rise in the Tri-Cities this spring as bears and coyotes are seen more frequently in urban neighbourhoods.

Coquitlam and Port Moody are reporting more bear sightings this spring compared to 2022, according to statistics provided by the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS).

And Coquitlam coyote complaints have increased this spring, too (April, May), bringing the total to 12 this year and from three last year to seven this year in Port Coquitlam.

The uptick in calls follows reports of a recent coyote attack on a two-year-old child in Port Coquitlam's Lions Park.

Now, the city is offering a free information session for residents to learn how to safely co-exist with local wildlife.

It will be held on Wednesday (May 24) from 7 to 9 p.m. in Mabbett Hall at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (2150 Wilson Ave.).

More calls made to RAPP line

Warm weather is also bringing bruins down out of the mountains in search of food, resulting in hundreds of calls to the province's RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters).

In Coquitlam, officials have received nearly double the amount of bear complaints from residents in the city — 70 since April 1 compared to 39 during the same period last year.

Residents and business owners are urged to secure their waste and make sure there is nothing in their yard or around their buildings that will attract bears.

Black bears (2023)

Tri-Cities (April 1 to May 18) = 162

  • Coquitlam = 70
  • Port Coquitlam = 53
  • Port Moody = 39
  • Anmore and Belcarra = None

Black bears (2022)

Tri-Cities (April 1 to May 18) = 127

  • Port Coquitlam = 79
  • Coquitlam = 39
  • Port Moody = Six
  • Belcarra = Two
  • Anmore = One

PoCo workshop

During the May 24 workshop, Port Coquitlam city staff will provide information on bear and coyote behaviours in an urban environment, the role the animals play in the community and how to prevent conflict with humans.

Interested participants will learn how to keep bears and coyotes and their homes safe.

Residents will also learn practical and effective tips for managing bear attractants and responding to bear and coyote encounters safely.

Attendees can share questions to be answered by city staff and bylaw officers during a Q&A period. Registration is online via the City of Port Coquitlam's website.

Who you gonna call?

In the event of an aggressive or threatening bear or coyote, or if there is a conflict that threatens public safety, the public is urged to call the BCCOS 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-877-952-7277 or file a report online.

This provides records for tracking wildlife encounters, which is essential in education and enforcement efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict.