Bears & Wildlife


In urgent situations or to report an aggressive bear, please contact the Conservation Officer Service (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277.

The American black bear (Ursus americanus) inhabits all forested regions of British Columbia. Populations are stable and are currently estimated at 140,000 to 160,000 throughout the province. Black bears have rounded ears, small eyes, a large snout, thick legs, large flat-soled feet and a very small tail. Although they are primarily black, there are multiple colour phases such as blonde, cinnamon and brown. Some may also have a v-shaped white patch on the chest. Black bears are omnivorous and opportunistic in their feeding habits. Green leafy material forms the bulk of their diet, especially in late spring and early summer. They also feed on insects, fruits, berries, fish, garbage, carrion, and small mammals.


Black bears and other wildlife are regulated under the provincial Wildlife Act. The City of Mission is responsible for the promotion of co-existence and conflict prevention through education. The City of Mission is actively pursuing a Bear Smart status in partnership with WildSafeBC and the Conservation Officer Service. Please contact our Environmental Department at (604) 814-1264 if you have any bear awareness related inquiries. Depending on availability, presentations can be arranged for schools and community groups.

In urgent situations or to report an aggressive bear, please contact the Conservation Officer Service (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277.

Bear Awareness
It’s a fact – bears live in our neighborhoods. While we may enjoy the occasional glimpse from a safe distance, inviting bears into our backyards can create serious hazards, both for people and for bears. With a growing bear population and residential developments advancing further into bear habitat, it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that bears and people stay at a safe distance from each other. One person’s bad habits can create problems for a whole neighborhood. Bears that have become habituated to human smells and garbage are a hazard and are often destroyed. Help them out by not luring them into close contact with humans.
Human-Bear Conflicts

Simply seeing a bear does not constitute a conflict. Bears live in the mountains behind us and make use of green spaces, and they are opportunists looking for an easy meal. Problems arise when bears become used to feeding on our garbage, compost, bird seed, pet food and unharvested fruit. Even unrinsed pop cans or a dirty barbecue can attract a bear – if it can attract rats, it can attract bears.

Prevention is key, so it is critical to remove attractants.

  • Bears account for approximately 20,000 calls to the provincial Conservation Officer Service reporting line in British Columbia every year.
  • Garbage is the number one attractant cited when reporting a bear.
  • Relocation seldom works with bears, with individuals often returning to their home territory or becoming problem bears in other communities.
  • Translocated wildlife often fails to adapt to its new habitat and may starve to death or be killed by other animals that already occupy that territory.

For more information, contact the WildSafeBC Coordinator at 604-702-5086 or please visit the following sites:

WildSafe BC
Get Bear Smart Society


We lure bears in with an easy meal and punish them with death for accepting our invitation.

– Sylvia Dolson, Get Bear Smart Society

The City of Mission is committed to spreading awareness and reducing bear conflicts. Attractant management continues to be an issue within the municipality and has resulted in the destruction of food conditioned bears. It is critical for all residents to cooperate so that we may coexist and prevent these deaths.

Year # of Bears Destroyed in Mission
2010 6
2011 7
2012 4
2013 0
2014 7
2015 4
2016 1
2017 3
2018 3
2019 4
2020 3
2021 4
2022 1


Bear encounters are often unreported as there is a misconception that they will be destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service; however, that is the most undesirable outcome for all parties. By reporting these encounters, we have an opportunity to intervene, educate and remove attractants before the problem escalates.


Reducing Bear Attraction

Collect Ripe Fruit

Pick ripe fruit and clean up fallen fruit promptly. If you have too much fruit to deal with, the Mission Food Access Network (MFAN) coordinates the gleaning of excess fruit and vegetables from your garden. To have food gleaning volunteers assist you with a harvest, please visit the MFAN online. One third the bounty goes to you, one third goes to the pickers, and the rest goes to a local, charitable food program.

Manage Your Food Scraps

Mission encourages its residents to separate all food waste (including table scraps, bread, bones and dairy products) from garbage and set it out for curbside collection. It is important to store curbside compost containers (“Rot Pots”) inside a secure enclosure until 5:00 am on collection day, but have it at the curb by 8:00 am.

One cubic yard of Rot Pot compost is made available to residents free of charge in the spring, and additional compost can be purchased at $25 per tonne – one tonne is about two heaping pickup truck loads.

For additional information on Rot Pot’s and compost, please visit our online Composting page section.

If you prefer to keep your own backyard composter, please do your part by adhering to the following practices:

  • Locate your backyard composter in an open area, away from shrubs and trees.
  • Ensure your backyard composter is actively composting by mixing the right amount of “green” and “brown” material.
  • Never put animal products or cooked foods into your backyard composter.
  • Immediately mix in and cover any fruit and vegetables you add to your backyard composter.

Keep Pet Food Inside

Please feed your pets indoors, and do not leave pet food outside. Even bird feeders can attract a hungry bear, so remove them between April and November, and hang them at least 3 metres off the ground in the winter.

Store Your Waste Securely and Don’t Set It Out Early

Garbage, recyclables, and compost should always be stored inside a secure container or enclosure and may only be set out between 5:00 am and 8:00 am on collection day.

If you don’t have a garage, shed or basement where you can store your curbside materials until the morning of collection, consider purchasing a Bear-Resistant Bin or building a secure enclosure. Search the internet for “wildlife resistant enclosures” for inspiration on how to go about it.

For more information, contact the City’s Engineering Department.

General Inquiries:
Phone: 604-820-3736