On August 12, 2017 the Fernie COS was forced to destroy two sibling immature cougars near the Island Lake Lodge. The approximately 2.5 year old cougars were destroyed due to the risk they posed to the general public. One healthy male and one underweight female cougar were destroyed by COs. The pair were sighted near the Island Lake Lodge area numerous times on separate occasion within a two week period. The cougars displayed abnormal behaviors by approaching the public and in one case a member of the public was forced to though rocks at one of the cougars in order to retreat to safety.
A cougar sighting was reported by the off leash dog park in the Annex last night at about 9:30pm. A grizzly bear was reported this morning at 11 am on the Fairy Creek trail about 300 meters from the visitor info center. Two grizzly bears were reported feeding on a carcass on Fording River Road last night in Elkford. A dozen by standers were taking photos and video contributing to the habituation of these bears.
We have chosen to live in wildlife habitat. Please never approach wildlife and never feed wildlife. Habituation and food conditioning leads to the needless destruction of bears.
For more information on wildlife go to https://wildsafebc.com/
Cougars, bears and moose have all been reported on trails throughout the Elk Valley the last few weeks. This past long weekend cougar sightings were reported at the top of Lazy Lizard trail and by the parking lot of the Old Growth trail head on the way up to Island Lake Lodge. All trails were closed for a period of time while the Conservation Officers investigated the area for a possible kill site. Nothing was found so trails were reopened.
Last week a moose cow charged at a biker on a trail by Maiden Lake. The moose had been hanging around in the wetland, a great place to be on a hot sunny day. She ran out onto the trail to investigate when she was startled by the biker. Bear sightings were also reported on Montane Blue trail and Grizzly bears reported at the Elk Valley Regional Park and by SMS just south of Elkford.
As trail use continues to increase so will the potential for human/wildlife conflict. It is especially important for everyone to be prepared to encounter wildlife and share the trail with other users including: hikers, bikers, trail runners, horses etc… The best way to prevent collisions is to slow down and call out when approaching blind corners or areas where the line of sight is poor, yield to uphill traffic and wildlife and never leave home without bear spray.
For more information on wildlife safety go to https://wildsafebc.com/
There were 3 cougar sightings at Island Lake Lodge yesterday. Island Lake Lodge had 2 Conservation Officers survey the property in and around the sightings and it was determined to be unlikely that an animal carcass is in the area. It is more likely that the cougar were passing through the area. Trails on Island Lake Lodge property are open at this time.
Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime. Report human/wildlife conflict to the 24 hour Conservation Officer hotline on 1-877-952-7277
For more information on wildlife safety go t0https://wildsafebc.com/species/
Friday August 4th. Lazy Lizard and all hiking trails at Island Lake are closed while the Conservation Officer Service is investigating the area looking for a possible kill site following a number of cougar sightings throughout the day yesterday.
Thank you for respecting this closure for your own safety and the wildlife in the area.
For more information on cougar safety go to https://wildsafebc.com/cougar/