The Village of Pemberton (VOP) is investigating an incident in the community where a black bear is believed to have frequented a business’ garbage cans, obtaining non natural food sources.

A posting on social media by members of the public on September 21st shows a bear accessing bins at a local gas station, with some saying its been a reoccurring issue at the location in recent days.

Pemberton has a Wildlife Attractant Bylaw that requires any substance or material with or without an odour that could attract dangerous wildlife be secured (Bylaw 684, 2011).


Photo: Francois Goris


A spokesman for the business’ parent company, Suncor said in a statement to Mountain FM that the safety of guests and wildlife is their top priority, and that they are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve the situation. Spokesman Paul Newmarch says they have removed all garbage cans from the lot and posted signage for guests to dispose of garbage inside the store until bear proof garbage cans are installed. “We are working to ensure the correct disposal units are installed as quickly as possible” says Newmarch.

The BC Conservation Officers Service (BCOS) says that at this time of year, bears are foraging for food before denning, meaning that leaving out your garbage, pet food or fallen fruit can lure bears and create a public safety risk.

BCCOS says ‘once animals become food-conditioned and habituated, they are dangerous to the public – these are not good candidates for relocation. Most of these situations are human-caused and preventable.’ Violators can be ticketed or fined under the B.C. Wildlife Act, where penalties can range up to $575 for failing to comply with a dangerous wildlife protection order.

If you see unsecured attractants you can contact the Village of Pemberton’s Bylaw department on 604-894-6135. Incidents involving wildlife can also be reported to the BCOS RAPP line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

Filed under: Bears, Pemberton, Sea to Sky, Wildlife