**** Media Release via Lands & Forestry
People can reduce the risks of wildlife encounters in their neighbourhoods by following advice from experts at the Department of Lands and Forestry.
“Seeing animals in the wild can be a wonderful experience but it is also common to see wildlife in our communities and that can become a nuisance and possibly a risk to people and pets,” said director of wildlife Bob Petrie. “To avoid backyard encounters with bears, foxes, deer, coyotes and other wild animals, people should reduce food sources.”
Pet food left outside can attract animals and bird feeders can support mice or raccoons which attract foxes and other predators.
“Nova Scotia’s black bears, for example, are magnificent animals, but they are a healthy population of omnivores and it’s in their nature to eat a wide variety of food and repeatedly return to a property when they smell a food supply,” said Mr. Petrie. “It’s important to reduce food odours from compost bins, garbage containers, and barbeques, to avoid unnecessary conflict and protect the animals and people.”
To avoid attracting bears and other wildlife to residential properties:
— store green compost bins and garbage containers in a shed until the morning of pickup
— turn garden compost piles often and add lime to reduce odour
— freeze odorous food waste, such as lobster shells and fish, and put them in the compost bin on collection day
— avoid using bird feeders from April to October
— burn off barbecue grills at high temperatures after every use and clean them often
— keep pet food bowls indoors
— pick fruit from trees as soon as it ripens
Homeowners should also limit places that could make attractive dens for wildlife by blocking access points under doorsteps, sheds and attics.
People concerned about wildlife damaging property or threatening their safety or see an injured or diseased animal should contact their local office of the Department of Lands and Forestry. Contact information for offices can be found at http://www.novascotia.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp .
To learn more about living with wildlife and other topics, visit http://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/ .