MISSION (NEWS1130) – The long, winters’ sleep is over and bears are starting to rise…hungry. As a result, it’s time for us humans to be diligent about keeping our distance from the ravenous animals.

Mission Bear Aware coordinator Brian Cummings says there’s already been several sightings around the Valley.

He says there are a few things people need to be mindful of to avoid attracting the creatures to town.

“Fruit trees, composting, bird feeders and pet food, barbeques, these are the things you kind of have to look at right now,” he explains. “A lot of the time they’re not that noticeable of things, people are using barbeques a lot and you’ve got to burn the grease and fat off that barbeque.”

He says one of the big attraction for bears is garbage that’s left out overnight for pickup in the morning.

“We have a bylaw in Mission where it’s unlawful to place your garbage, compost or recycling out for collection the night prior,” he stresses. “We do night time tagging raids, where we’ll go around outside in the evening, and leave you a note on the door about how bad it is to leave your garbage out the night before”

If you see a bear wandering in or around town you should call the RAPP line at 1 877 952 RAPP.