Keep pumpkins inside and away from bears: Bear Aware

Whistlerites are being asked to keep their Halloween jack-o-lanterns inside this year, or consider alternatives such as plastic pumpkins, after reports of black bears approaching local homes and eating pumpkins outside.

According to an email from Cara Illerbrun, Bear Aware community coordinator, bears are especially drawn to pumpkins this year because of poor natural food sources. Keeping jack-o-lanterns outside could lead to increased human-bear conflicts as hungry bears are looking for food.

"Residents are encouraged to find alternatives to carved pumpkins this Halloween - how about plastic jack-o-lanterns?," the email says.

"If you decide to have a traditional carved pumpkin, please minimize the amount of time you leave the pumpkin outside and available to your neighbourhood bears. Please do not leave pumpkins unattended - they could bring a bear to your doorstep," continued Illerbrun.

Kids should also take extra care when trick-or-treating on Monday (Oct. 31) as there are a lot of bears in local neighbourhoods this year, she said.

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