Wildlife Park demo stresses importance of bear-proof bins

By Jill Sperling
June 1, 2017 - 4:00pm Updated: June 1, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — Grizzly bears put on quite a show at the BC Wildlife Park Thursday morning, demonstrating their strength and persistence during a bin demo. 

Every year manufacturers of garbage bins rely on the grizzlies to put their product to the test. 

Thursday's bin was the first of the season, and it took the bears less than three minutes to break in and enjoy the food inside. 

"We're using a bin that we had a broken hinge on, so we knew it wasn't going to pass," explained Provincial WildSafeBC Coordinator Frank Ritcey. "Basically, it's to show the trainees for our program what the process entails and we talk about all the protocols that we go through for the testing, when we do real testing, but this demo was to also get the bears interested in the program, they're going to be testing bins throughout the summer."

Ritcey says the tests show manufacturers how their product should be improved and reinforced. 

He says garbage is the number one attractant for bears, and for that reason it's important that the dangerous animals are unable to access the bins. 

"Once the bear gets into garbage it's really hard to get them to go back out into the wild," Ritcey said. "It's unfortunate. If you look around in the hills, we've had a lot of rain, it's been a really wet summer, lots of grass out there ... there's no reason for the bears to be coming into town because there's lots of food out there for them." 

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