The Conservation Officer Service on the Sunshine Coast has seen a rapid rise in conflict reports with bears this spring.

Dean Miller is aware that a mother bear and two cubs have been calling Mission Point Park, in Davis Bay, home for a little while now.

Last week, the bears wandered over to the backpacks that were left by a group of schoolchildren who were in the park and helped themselves to one of the bags.

Miller said he’s hoping people keep their attractants locked up so the Service can keep the bears alive and wild.

Bears and their cubs can be destroyed if they become habituated to humans and are deemed unlikely candidates for rehabilitation.

“Nobody wants to see that. I am not too sure whether they are cubs that were born in February or if they are cubs from last year. If they are cubs from last year, and I think they are, sometime in June she (the sow) will kick her cubs out of the family unit and they will go off on their own. If they haven’t learned too many bad behaviors or haven’t become too habituated it’s possible they’ll enter back into a more wild existence.”

There has also been a series of bear sightings in Roberts Creek and the attractant there is reported to be compost.

Miller said it’s a good idea to throw some lime in compost from time to time to help with the decomposition and homeowners can also invest in electric fencing to keep the bears out.

“People are sometimes deterred by the initial expense which, really, relatively isn’t that much, but if they do it now they can save themselves quite a bit of property damage. Bears are very strong, they are quite determined as well, once they find a food source to come back and rip apart a storage shed where there’s garbage or a chicken coop.”