Grizzly bears have been seen throughout Elkford, black bears on Pine Crescent in Fernie and cougars in Sparwood. Wildfires are driving wildlife into our communities. There is a lot of discussion about providing water or food to wildlife displaced by wildfires.
Wildfire and wildlife populations have evolved together over hundreds of thousands of years. We need to step back and allow natural systems to sort themselves out. Putting water out is providing an attractant and another reason for wildlife to stop and to stay in a neighbourhood – this is not safe for anyone in the neighbourhood and could ultimately lead to the destruction of the very wildlife that one is trying to help.
Displaced wildlife will seek out and find new areas that are suitable for them. Interfering with this natural process, while well-meaning is short-sighted and can lead to long term issues. Removing attractants is the only proven effective way to keep people safe and wildlife wild.
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! Fire and smoke will be driving bears into town anytime now. Bears will pass through our yards, we chose to live in bear country! It is important however, that 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, bicyle 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.
So thanks for keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up or removing apple trees. If you are unable to manage your fruit trees due to disability, illness, elderly or lack of equipment: there is a group of volunteers able to assist you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Wildsights’ Apple Capture Program http://www.wildsight.ca/branches/elkvalley/apple-press/
Keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up fruit trees will result in a cleaner and safer community for everyone.
apple trees will attract bears to your yard
Tuesday September 5th. Grizzly bears have been reported on Newgate, Natal and Needles Crescent the last two evenings. Keep all garbage inaccessible to the bears, clean up the apple trees and secure all other attractants.
The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Your best defense is to be aware of wildlife in the area.
Make Noise to avoid a surprise encounter (use your human voice, clap hands or two rocks together – especially near running water or in dense brush)
- Carry a walking stick (adults can carry Bear Spray in a side holster)
- Walk in groups
- Keep dogs leashed and/or under voice control
If you encounter a Bear:
- STAY CALM
- DO NOT RUN
- Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side)
- Use your voice in a calm, assertive manner.
- Back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route
- Never turn your back on wildlife
- Do not approach or feed wildlife
Report grizzly bear sightings to 1-877-952-7277
The Conservation Officer Service had the unfortunate task of pulling the trigger to destroy a bear and cubs in Rosen Lake last week. Everyone in that area with garbage, fruit trees, and other attractants or approaching this bear family contributed to their death. Human food and exposure to people eventually resulted in the bears posing a threat to human safety. Relocation is not a solution and seldom works with bears; they often return to their original home territory or become “problem” animals in other communities.
A family was out on a trail with their dog by the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park in Sparwood when their dog was attacked by a cougar last Thursday night. No one was injured. The Conservation Officer Service (COS) investigated and was unable to locate the cougar.
Please report all cougar sightings to the COS on 1-877-952-7277.
Cougars have been seen on Matevic Road and Michel Creek road the last few days. Bear sightings reported yesterday morning on Sicamore Drive.
For you own safety and to help keep wildlife wild thaks for keeping garbage indoors until collection day and clean up apple trees.
For more information on wildlife visit https://wildsafebc.com/
apple trees will attract bears to your yard
Grizzly bear sightings were reported on Chimo Crescent and Chauncy Ridge in Elkofrd yesterday. A cougar was seen by a mountain biker at 10 am on Lazy Lizard Trail this past Saturday morning. A black bear and cubs seen daily by Rosen Lake.
For your own safety
At home: lock up your garbage, clean up fruit trees and remove anything that might attract wildlife
On the trail: Avoid surprise encounters, call out, clap, sing, don’t litter and carry bear spray.
For more information go to https://wildsafebc.com/
A cougar was reported earlier today on Broken Hip trail by the Scary Trail junction. A bear and cubs have been hanging around the bottom of Erics Trip trail.
Fernie is Wildlife Country. Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.
For more information on wildlife safety go tohttps://wildsafebc.com/species/
Tuesday August 22. A large cougar was reported at 6:30 am this morning on a path in The Cedars by the Mt Fernie Provincial Park Campground.
Caution Cougars in Area
Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay. Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.
- Feed pets indoors and keep pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and, in turn, become prey themselves.
- Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators such as cougars into residential neighborhoods. As well, urban deer present their own set of problems to you and your neighbors.
- Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until dawn
If you encounter a Cougar
- STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
- Pick up small children and small pets
- Let the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
- Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
- Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
- Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
- If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack
Never Approach or Feed Wildlife
Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell.
Grizzly bears were seen throughout the day all over Elkford late last week and a hiker was bluff charged by a grizzly bear on the lost lake trail. Although there have been no sightings of the grizzly bears the last few days be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.
Between the start of 2014 and July 9 2017, there have been 26 128 Problem Wildlife Occurrence Reports (PWOR’s) regarding bears made to the Conservation Officer Hotline (RAPP) Report All Poachers and Polluters. 15 676 or 60% of the calls cited bears accessing garbage followed by 4 085 or 16% bears accessing fruit trees. It is obvious that garbage and fruit trees need better management.
Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.
Bottom line: Garbage, birdseed and pet food etc. attracts bears to your property making it more likely for the bear to break into your home creating a safety risk for your family and a death sentence for the bear.
For more information on managing wildlife attractants go to https://wildsafebc.com/