City Council votes to electrify dump site to discourage bears

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

PRINCE RUPERT, British Columbia (AP) -- Bears awakening from hibernation next week are in for a shock if they try mooching at the municipal dump.

The City Council has voted to electrify the fence around the landfill before the bears wake up in an attempt to discourage the animals from foraging through the garbage.

The alternative was to wait until about June and then trap and destroy bears at the site. Drugging, trapping and relocating the ursine trespassers to the wild by helicopter would cost $1,300 or more each, money that council members said was not in their budget.

Officials said it would take about a week to repair wires and fence posts destroyed by bears at the dump last year before council can throw the switch to shock the bears.

Gordon Cox, public works superintendent, said shocking bears has been successful at other landfills. But he warned that it may take two or three generations of bears before they are conditioned to avoid the dump.

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