Two black bears seen in downtown Fernie

Two black bears (mom and cub) were seen on a slope in the area behind Overwaitea in downtown Fernie, heading towards the Fernie Aquatic Centre at around 12pm today.

If you see them anywhere else in town please report it to the RAPP line as soon as possible – 1-877-952-7277 so we can make sure they get to a safe place to hibernate.

More photos of Elkford’s white bear cubs

Thanks to Elkford resident Kristy Anonson for allowing us to use these photos of two white bear cubs and their darker-coloured sibling and mom in and around her yard.

These bears have already frequently been seen in residential areas throughout Elkford, and they have been getting into unsecured garbage. Please keep your garbage indoors to prevent these bears from becoming habituated and human food conditioned. If you do not have a garage or a shed to keep your garbage container in, please keep your garbage inside until the morning of pick-up day or take it to the transfer station. Smelly garbage can be frozen in a ziploc bag until pick-up day to prevent unpleasant smells. Please also pick all fruit and berries, clean your barbeques thoroughly after each use, remove bird feeders, manage your compost properly to keep it odour-free, and keep all other bear attractants indoors. If you find any hair from these bear families with white cubs, please contact Elk Valley Bear Aware at 250-910-0959. Scientists do not know much about these white bears yet, but they could use hair samples for DNA analysis to find out more about what causes the white colour of these bears. It is illegal to hunt white bears in BC. 

Meet Bear Aware at the Paws for a Cause walk in Fernie on Sunday!

Bear Aware will be at the Elk Valley Paws for a Cause walk tomorrow (Sunday, Sept 18) – come along to chat to us about your bear experiences and find out more about how to live without conflict in bear country. 

All the money from the local Paws for a Cause event goes to the Cranbrook SPCA shelter, which takes in hundreds of animals from the Elk Valley each year and also helps a lot of Elk Valley families find a faithful pet.

More information about this great event is below!


You and your dog are invited to take part in the Elk Valley SPCA Paws for a Cause walk on Sunday, September 18, 11am-3pm outside Fernie Aquatic Centre.

All funds go to the East Kootenay SPCA Shelter in Cranbrook.

This year there are two on-leash walk routes – a short 1.5km route through downtown, and a longer 4km walk/run route on Coal Creek trail.

Walk registration starts at 11am – $10 suggested donation per adult, kids and dogs walk for free.

Post-walk activities
* Local dog trainer Denise McKay and the South Alberta Working Herding Dogs Association will give agility and scent herding demonstrations

* See a demonstration by the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dogs Association

* Pet first aid talk by Dr David Marion of Country Vet Fernie.

* The last outdoor market of the summer! Local businesses and artisans will be selling goods.

* Silent auction with prizes donated by local businesses including a day of cat-skiing at Fernie Wilderness

* You and your dog can win prizes with games of musical sit and a pet parade including waggiest tail award, good dog award and fluffiest dog award.

Register from 11am on Sunday or contact 778-519-0017 for more information.


Photos of grizzly bear that charged 13 hikers near Fernie

A group of 13 hikers sent in these photos after they were bluff-charged by this grizzly bear on Heiko’s Trail in Fernie on Tuesday, August 30.












Fernie is Grizzly bear country.  Be prepared and expect to encounter bears.  Look for signs of recent bear activity droppings, diggings or overturned logs, make noise to warn bears of your presence to avoid surprising bears at close range, carry pepper spray and know how to use it.  For more information on bear safety and view the movie Staying Safe in Bear Country available at the Fernie Library and Fernie Information Centre.

Mon July 25: Bear sow and cub on Brokeback Ridge trail on Mount Fernie

Monday, July 25: Small black bear mom and cub (light brown in colour) seen by mountain bikers with a dog on Brokeback Ridge trail at approx 7pm.

Mom bear wrestled with the dog when it ran towards her, but didn’t cause injuries and was wary of humans – ran up a tree when the mountain bikers shouted.

Remember to keep your dog on leash and make plenty of noise on the trails.

Recent bear sightings in Elkford and Sparwood

Thanks to all those who have reported bear sightings recently – we apologize for technical difficulties that prevented us from updating the blog with them immediately.

Everything is fixed now so please keep reporting any bears in communities or on trails to our blog and to the RAPP line, and check this site regularly, follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.

• July 20 at 5:50 am A black bear was seen by the main office building of the Whiskey Jack Golf Course in Sparwood

• July 18 at 7:40 am A bear was seen on a dirt road by an apartment building on Pinyon Road in Sparwood

• July 18 at 9:50 pm A grizzly bear was seen on Lower Elk Valley Road in Sparwood

• July 6 Grizzly bears were seen on the Elkford Ski Hill

• July 6 Grizzly bears were seen on Bear Hill in Elkford

• July 2 A grizzly bear was seen crossing Highway 43 about 3 km north of Elkford

• July 2 A black bear sow and two cubs were seen on a back road at Crossing Creek clearcuts in Elkford

• June 26 at 8 pm A grizzly bear was seen on Elk Lake Road North in Elkford

• June 30 A grizzly bear sow and two yearlings were seen on Boivin Creek Trail near Elkford