Daily reports of a grizzly bear feeding on apples on properties in Rosen Lake

There have been daily reports of a grizzly bear feeding on apples while passing through properties in Rosen Lake. “I don’t mind bears in my yard eating apples, what’s the big deal?”  This is a reply that I often get when I visit people with trees loaded with apples and rotting windfall fruit all over the ground!  Bears will pass through our yards; we chose to live in bear country!  It is important however, that the bear is not rewarded for being there.

When a bear gets food (garbage and apples) 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 will find itself somewhere it is not welcome.  And when bears and humans are in conflict, the bear dies nearly every time.

Thanks for cleaning up the fuit trees, locking up the garbage, bringing

bear eating apples

apple trees will attract bears to your yard

in the birdfeeder and bears will move on.

 

Hot weather likely to dry up the berry crop and push bears into town

Hot weather will start to dry up the berry crop any day now and reduce the availability of natural food for wildlife.  Bears have a sense of smell far greater than dogs and it is this sense of smell that helps them locate food at great distances.  Once the berries dry up, bears will be drawn into communities to look for easy food like garbage, fruit trees and even birdfeeders.  Bears account for over 20 000 calls to the Conservation Officer reporting line every year.  Garbage is the number one attractant cited when reporting a call.

bear family from fernieWildlife sightings

Fernie

Moose, black bears and grizzly bears reported throughout the trail network.  Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.  No reported sightings in town, let’s try to keep it that way by locking up garbage, cleaning up fruit trees and bringing in birdfeeders.

Sparwood

Black bears reported in the campground.

Elkford

Grizzly bear sightings reported at the bottom of Alpine Way and by SMS.  Cougar sighting reported just north of Karens Pet Inn.

South Country

Grizzly bear sightings reported by the springs at Rosen Lake and on Shelbourne road in Jaffray.

Thank you for keeping your property free of wildlife attractants and putting thought and end energy into preventing encounters with wildlife when out in the back country.

 

Mountain biker charged by a female moose defending her calves on Ridgemont trails in Fernie yesterday

“Had a very close encounter with momma moose who was with her twins on Broken Derailleur today. She came out of the forest onto the trail right behind me. We had been making lots of noise so surprised to see her. Once she saw me she dropped her head and charged for me. Avoided a serious incident by jumping over my bike and tree stump down the slope into the forest. Back tracked back to Ridgemont Rd and rode up the road to Eric’s trail entrance but who came wandering out of the forest again? Yes, momma moose and her calves. Turned around immediately, rode down Ridgemont Rd and called it quits for today”.

Moose Safety Tips

  • Moose are wild animals and need to be given space and privacy. Never approach a moose. Give the animals a wide berth and ensure they always have an escape route.
  • Female moose with calves need extra space. Moose cows are very protective of their young and may attack if they perceive a threat. If you come across a cow and calf, calmly leave the area immediately.
  • Be aware of moose body language. A threatened moose may lower its head and flatten its ears before charging. If you see these behaviours, find an escape route.
  • If a moose does charge you, getting inside a nearby building or car is the safest option, but hiding behind a large tree or other solid object may effectively block the charge.
  • Dogs and moose don’t mix. A moose can seriously injure or kill a dog if it feels threatened. Likewise, loose dogs can harass moose, causing undue stress. Never let your dog out if there is a moose in your yard.
  • Use caution when walking dogs, keep them under voice control and/or leash.  Dogs chasing wildlife may result in human/wildlife conflict.

moose and calves

 

 

 

 

 

Is your bird feeder a bear feeder?

“Why do I need to bring in my birdfeeder”? We ask everyone to bring bird feeders inside during bear season (April to November), when birds have plenty of wild food sources and feeders can easily attract bears right into your yard or on to your deck.  Why do bears go for bird feeders? One pound of birdseed contains approximately 1700 calories and the average bird feeder will hold up to six pounds of bird seed.
A hungry bear is biologically programmed to pack in as many calories as possible. It takes a bear many hours of foraging on natural foods to get the 12 000 plus calories it can down in five minutes at a bird feeder.

Keeping garbage indoors between collection days, cleaning your BBQ after each use, bringing in bird feeders and securing all other attractants will result in a cleaner and safer community for people and bears.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com

birdfeeders Scott McPherson

Grizzly, black bears, moose and cougars all reported in recreational areas over the weekend.

We choose to recreate in wildlife country!  A cougar was seen by the bike park in Fernie on Saturday evening, brown colored black bear and 2 cubs seen on Kush, moose cow and calf seen at the top of Gorby and a cyclist had an encounter with a grizzly bear on the Trans Canada trail past Wardner.

Be prepared and expect to enocutner wildlife anytime and have your bear spray accessible, ideally in a holster on your person just in case you get seperated from your bike.

For more information on wildlife go to www.wildsafebc.combears-and-bikes-screenshot

Bikers, bears, berries and collisions!

Boo to the downhill bikers that I almost had a full on collision with early this morning.  You are lucky I wasn’t a bear feeding in a berry bush!  Thanks to the next group of downhill bikers who were calling out, warned me of their presence, slowed down and pulled over to let me keep on climbing up the trail.

I was out surveying the berry crop.  A great berry crop will provide lots of natural food for bears and hopefully result in a reduction in human/wildlife conflict.  If you are out berry picking, hiking, or biking through berry patches be prepared and expect to encounter bears anytime.

Thanks for helping keep wildlife wild and communities safe and practicing good multi trail use etiquette.

For more information on wildlife safety go to www.wildsafebc.com

3 grizzly bears

Bears reported accessing garbage in open and overflowing bear resistant dumpsters

Bear resistant dumpsters are only as bear resistant as the users!  We’ve had reports of bears accessing garbage from bear resistant dumpsters that were left open and/or overflowing with garbage.  The dumpster is only bear resistant if it closed and latched properly.  If the bin is full please do not dump garbage next to it.  Take it to another location, the bear resistant bins at F.A.R. in parking lot #4, the transfer station on Highway 3 or the public bins at City Hall, the arena or the aquatic centre.

Businesses please ensure that bins are emptied on a regular basis.   You may need to schedule an extra pick up after a busy weekend.  Thank you for ensuring that all of your guests are informed about the responsible disposal of garbage in bear country.   If you need support with this please contact fernie@wildsafebc.com.

BBCub in Radium Bin[1]

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com

Learn how to use bear spray. Thursday July 5th, 6pm Fernie Bike Park Gazebo

Are you planning on heading out on the trails?   Do you have bear spray accessible and how confident are you if you need to use it?  WildSafeBC will be running a “how to safely use bear spray” session, tomorrow, Thursday July 5th at 6pm at the Bike Park Gazebo behind the aquatic centre in Fernie, free of charge.  This is a great opportunity to come and get hands on practice with inert bear spray (bear spray without the pepper).

For more information contact fernie@wildsafebc.com.bear spray FWOW 2

Grizzly or black bear? How do you tell the difference?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between black and grizzly bears.  Brown colored bears are often reported as grizzly bears but remember that black bears come in a variety of colors-everything from the white Kermode bear through their namesake black and every shade of brown in between.  Black bears have longer pointed ears, short dark claws, a straight face profile and their muzzle is usually lighter in color.  Grizzly bears also have a variety of colors ranging from black to almost blonde.  Grizzly bears have long light colored claws, shorter rounded ears, a dished face profile and a shoulder hump.

Whether it is a black or a grizzly bear, if it is surprised at close range it is likely to react defensively.  That is why it is important to make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters and have bear spray ready and accessible just in case.

black bear traits

grizzly traits

For more information on bears go to www.wildsafebc.com