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

Grizzly and black bears reported on Fernie trails over the July long weekend.

Tuesday July 3.  Grizzly bear reported on Swine Flu on Saturday later in the evening.  Small cinnamon cub and a larger cinnamon bear seen throughout the Montane trail network.  Brown colored bear with two cubs on Coal Discovery Trail, reported asbrown balck bear grizzly bears.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between black and grizzly bears.  Brown colored bears (like the one in the photo) are often reported as grizzly bears.  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.

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

Biker was bluff charged by a mama bear on Sidewinder trail last night

Monday June 25.  A mountain biker who was alone and calling out still surprised a mama bear and cub on a switchback on Sidewinder trail in Ridgemont last night. The cub ran up a tree and the mama bear bluff charged the mountain biker.  This is normal defensive behaviour for a bear defending her cub.  Grizzly bear sighting reported on Fairy Creek Falls trail.Bear spray Far staff

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” sessions for the Fernie Women on Wheels group this Wednesday June 27 and for the public next 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.

Please do not approach the young female moose in the Annex pond in Fernie.

Wednesday June 20.  Thank you for not apporaching, or photographing this young moose in the Annex pond.  For the safety of the public and the moose, the area around the Annex pond will be closed unitl further  notice.   Thank you for respecting this closure.

annex mooseMoose 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.

For more information on wildlife go to ww.wildsafebc.com

 

 

 

Large black bear on the hunt for easy food in Fernie

A large black bear has been reported on Slalom Drive, Mt Trinity and up in Ridgemont.  Bears will travel great distances for food.  If you have garbage stored outdoors, even an empty can with residue odor, a dirty BBQ, bird feeders which often become bear feeders or any other attractant then you can expect bears to come and investigate.  Do you know of someone in your neighborhood attracting bears? Please do contact Bylaw Services.  Bylaw Enforcement is complaint driven and will remain anonymous.  Unfortunately in many cases education needs to be backed up by power of enforcement.

Working together will result in a cleaner and safer community for wildlife and people. bear sniffing garbage can

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the WildSafeBC display at Baynes Lake Market

The first Baynes Lake Market this season was a great opportunity to talk and learn about current wildlife issues.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  WildSafeBC will be teaching staff how to prevent wildlife encounters and how to use bear spray at Fernie Alpine Resort this week.

For more information on wildlife safety go to www.wildsafebc.comDrop by the WildSafeBC Dispaly

 

Grizzly sow and cubs seen on Mt Fernie Trail

bears and bikes screenshot

Mountain bikers, your speed and quietness put you at greater risk for sudden encounters

A grizzly and two cubs were reported half way up Mt Fernie trail yesterday.  Bears will travel great distances for food and prefer the path of least resistance, trails!  Be prepared and expet to encounter wildlife anytime.  Make noise to warn wildlife of your presence, travel in groups and have bear spray accessible just in case.

Visit www.wildsafebc.com com for more safety tips.

The Lake Trail at Island Lake Lodge will be closed until further notice due to a moose cow reacting defensively to protect her calf.

Monday June 11.  After two reported incidents of a moose cow charging at hikers on the Lake Trail, the trail has been closed until further notice ( two weeeks) moose and calvesto protect the public and the moose cow and calf.  Thank you for respecting this closure.

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.