The Elkford White Bear on her way to the Calgary Zoo.

elkford white bear 2013Saturday August 31. This time last year the same bear was in a trap on her way to be relocated north of Elkford. She had learned to feed on garbage, posed a threat to human safety and had to be moved. She made her back to Elkford a few weeks ago and continued to feed on garbage and was reported dragging a sleeping bag out of a tent at the campground with children in the area.

The white bear has been removed, but now there is a grizzly sow and cubs by the golf course in Elkford. Removing bears (relocation or destruction) is not the answer! It opens up a niche for other bears to move in as long as there is garbage and other attractants available. Removing attractants is a proven method of reducing human/bear conflict.

I don’t mind bears in my yard, what’s the big deal?

From a Bear Aware perspective, it doesn’t matter if a bear passes through your yard. It is important however, that it isn’t rewarded for being there. When a bear gets food in your yard, it doesn’t know that your tolerance for bears is higher than your neighbours. It learns that a house, lawn, bicycle and the faint smell of people comes with an easy meal. It eats, learns and moves on. Eventually, it may find itself somewhere it is not welcome. And when humans and bears are in conflict, the bear dies nearly every time.

Thank you to everyone who is Bear Aware. Help our bears stay wild and our communities safe and please help your neighbours, families and friends do the same. It is our responsibility, after all we chose to visit or live in Bear Country.

To find out more about reducing human/wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com