Bears have been seen in Summerland during the spring and summer, although they appear to have taken a hiatus in August.
Bob Hamilton, a conservation officer with the provincial Ministry of Environment in Penticton, said since April 1, there were 96 wildlife sightings in Summerland, including 79 bear sightings.
This is up significantly from the 50 bear sightings during the same period last year.
There were no bear sightings in August.
“The bears are finding their food in the wild,” Hamilton said.
The bears seen have been black bears, not grizzlies, Hamilton said, adding that both species of bear can be found in the region.
“There are grizzlies in the area; they’ just are not very abundant,” he said.
Some of the grizzly bear sightings reported to the ministry have been black bears with lighter coats.
The numerous bear sightings do not mean there are large numbers of bears living in Summerland.
“One bear can generate a lot of reports,” Hamilton said.
Many of the bear reports this year had been because of one problem bear in the Lowertown area.
Bears and other wildlife traditionally make an appearance in Summerland and other Okanagan communities in fall, when the fruit in the orchards is ripening.