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Dispose of pumpkins quickly, urges Parks Canada

“Pumpkins are a food attractant to wildlife; they will draw wildlife into the town,” said Greg Danchuk of Parks Canada, as he urges residents to dispose of jack-o-lanterns after Halloween
Parks Canada is reminding residents to prevent Halloween jack-o-lanterns from attracting wildlife by brining them indoors at the end of the night. RMO FILE PHOTO

BANFF – Banff residents and visitors are being reminded to dispose of their jack-o-lanterns after the Oct. 31 Halloween celebrations to prevent attracting hungry wildlife in search of food into residential neighbourhoods.

In an ideal world, Parks Canada officials say that all pumpkins would be displayed from inside windows, and only artificial jack-o-lanterns placed outside.

Greg Danchuk, visitor experience manager for Banff National Park, said it’s a precaution for both the safety of people and wildlife, noting there’s been an issue with deer and elk eating pumpkins in previous years, but nothing so far this year.

“Pumpkins are a food attractant to wildlife; they will draw wildlife into the town,” he said.

“They can become more comfortable and there’s more potential for habituation and food conditioning and looking for food of an easy nature into the future,” he added.

“The best thing is to keep them away from them because it’s better for them in the long run and it’s safety for residents and visitors to the national park.”

The plight of bear No. 148 – a famous female grizzly bear shot dead by a trophy hunter in B.C. after being relocated out of Canmore – has led to heightened awareness throughout the Bow Valley about keeping wildlife wild.

After Halloween, pumpkins can be disposed of in the Town Banff’s organic food waste bins.





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