Grizzly bear and cub currently in the Park Lane Area in Fernie

May 27.  A grizzly bear and cub are currently in the Park Lane Area in FernieSpawood grizzly sherry.  The Conservation Officer Service is requesting that you do not approach the bears and stay indoors if the bears are on your property.

If you encounter a bear, stop, stay calm, speak in a low voice to identify yourself as human and not prey, back away slowly and leave the bear an escapre route.

Report human/wildlife conflict.  1-877-952-7277

Mountain biker bluff charged by bear and cubs on the weekend in Fernie

Abears-and-bikes-screenshot mountain biker was bluff charged when she surprised a black bear and cubs at close range when out biking on Swine Flu trail on the weekend.  This is normal defensive behaviour for a bear defending her cubs, space of food source.  Are you prepared for your hike or ride in bear country?

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Making noise to warn wildlife of your presence and having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing.   Stay calm, assess the situation, respond accordingly and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).

Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially save your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country.

For more information on how to safety use bear spray go to www.wildsafebc.com and watch this 33 second video to learn how to use bear spray https://vimeo.com/287472884.

 

Bears reported on 5th Ave in Fernie and moose and bear sightings throughout the trail network

May 23, 2019.  Bear sightings were reported last night in the alley between 5th and 6th avenue and by the pond on 3rd street in Fernie.  Grizzly bear, black bear and moose sightings reported daily throughput the trail network surrounding Fernie the last few weeks.

Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime, anywhere!

At home:  Keep garbage indoors inaccessible to wildlife, bring in bird feeders and secure all wildlife attractants.  This will result in a cleaner and safer community for people and wildlife. Thanks for doing your part and encouraging family, friends and neighbours to do the same.

Hiking and Biking:  Make noise to warn wildlife of your presence, watch for fresh bear signs, carry bear spray and know how to use it and travel in groups in daylight.  If you meet a bear, back away slowly and leave.  Do not run.  Give the bear space to escape.

For more information on wildlife safety, go to www.wildsafebc.com.   Call 1-877-952-7277 to report human/wildlife conflict.

bear sniffing garbage can

Moose and Calf at the top of Dem Bones trail, grizzly bear activity reported on Silk Trail and Timberline Crescent area in Fernie

Are you prepared for your bank holiday Monday hike or bike ride? The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Making to noise to avoid surprise encounters with wildlife and having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing (stay calm, assess the situation and respond accordingly) and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).
Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially save your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country.

Mountian Bike Bear POSTER2_31jan2019
For more information on wildlife and how to safely use bear spray go to www.wildsafebc.com

Aggressive Coyote reported in Elkford

The have been reports of an aggressive coyote in the Lamplighter area in Elkford.  If you encounter an aggresive coyote do not run as this could trigger an attack.  Back away slowly and speak to it in a loud firm voice.   If you have a walking stick use that to protect yourself, and/or deliver a series of hard kicks to the coyotes ribs and stomach to dissuade the animal.

Keep pets indoors, especially at night.  Cats and small dogs that are left to free range, hunt small birds and rodents can become prey themselves. coyote

Clean up and secure wildlife attractants on your property (garbage, pet food and bird feeders).   Report aggressive coyote encounters to the Conservation Officer Service, 1-877-952-7277

For more informaton on coyotes and wildlife safety go to www.wildsafebc.com

Are you prepared for your Easter Sunday hike or bike ride?

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented.  Having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing (stay calm, assess the situation and respond accordingly) and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).

Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially save your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country.

For more information on how to safely use bear spray go to wwwMountian Bike Bear POSTER2_31jan2019.wildsafebc.com

The City of Fernie garbage carts should be kept indoors and inaccessible to wildlife between collection days.

Thank you for ensuring that your garbage cart is not overflowing and/or left open on collection day.  Should you have excess garbage or miss collection day, it can be taken to the transfer station or to the community bear resistant containers located at city hall, the arena, aquatic centre and Max Turyk.

Thank you for helping keep wildlife wild and our community safe.  www.wildsafebc.com

ROC

Wildlife accessing garbage and human caused wildlife mortality show a decreasing trend in our communities.

Elk Valley communities have taken a big step forward and have been setting a precedent for other mountain communities when it comes to reducing human/wildlife conflict.  The residential certified bear resistant carts in Sparwood, the gravity locking carts and communal bear resistant dumpsters in Fernie and bear resistant carts available for Elkford residents have reduced the amount of wind strewn litter and garbage accessible to wildlife and enabled residents to manage household garbage responsibly.  There is no curbside garbage collection in the South Country where residents keep garbage indoors until they take it to the transfer station.

Overall, the number of Problem Wildlife Occurrence Reports (PWOR’s) citing bears accessing garbage has been lower in residential areas the last few years and wildlife destroyed due to concerns for human safety in the Elk Valley and South Country has decreased considerably.  Human caused mortality has gone from:  33 black bears, 1 grizzly bear and 1 cougar destroyed in 2015, 5 black bears in 2016, 2 grizzly bears destroyed by residents in defence of property, 2 cougars, 5 black bears and 1 grizzly bear destroyed in 2017, 1 injured black bear destroyed for humane reasons, 1 cougar, 1 grizzly bear and 1 black bear destroyed to date in 2018.  This decrease in human caused wildlife mortality can be attributed to increased awareness regarding the management of wildlife attractants, less garbage accessible to wildlife with upgraded garbage collection systems in communities and a good berry crop.

There has been an increase in human/wildlife conflict in recreational areas.  A child was attacked by a cougar while out on a family fishing trip and there were many reports of trail users getting bluff charged by black and grizzly bears and moose on Elk Valley trails.  An increase in trail and backcountry use, development, logging, more highway traffic and more people in wildlife habitat have all contributed to more human/wildlife encounters in the backcountry.

The South Country had a high level of grizzly bear activity between May and October which can be attributed to a number of factors including but not limited to:  a cold spring pushing bears into valley bottoms to look for emerging greenery, hot dry weather and smoke, a poor huckleberry crop at higher elevations and grizzly bears being drawn into valley bottoms accessing fruit trees, Saskatoon berries and livestock on their way to feed on the spawning Kokanee salmon.  To date this year one grizzly has been destroyed in Jaffray.

Thanks to ongoing support and valuable community partnerships, the WildSafeBC Program was well received.   The demand continues to increase throughout Elk Valley and South Country communities and is indicative of the program’s success.  The Junior Ranger program was delivered to 540 pre-school and school aged children, over 250 adults received wildlife awareness and bear spray training , 750 contacts were made at community events, 70 000 people reached through local media and 38 000 reached through social media. Finally, thank you to everyone who has been a good neighbour by keeping garbage inaccessible to wildlife between collection days, cleaning up their fruit trees and helping their neighbours do the same.  Bears and other wildlife have huge home ranges, will travel great distances for food and don’t recognize political boundaries.   This collective effort has resulted in cleaner and safer communities for people and wildlife and a reduction in human caused wildlife mortality.  The WildSafeBC Program will be going into hibernation until May 2019.

brown balck bear