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.
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
Two grizzly bears have been seen throughout the District of Elkford. Please ensure that all garbage is kept indoors away from the grizzly bears and all other attractants are secured.
We live in wildlife habitat. Be aware of your surroundings and respectful of the environment. If you observed dangerous wildlife
- accessing garbage or other human supplied food sources
- that cannot be scared off
- a bear, cougar or wolf seen in an urban area
Call the Conservation Officer Service Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) 24 hr hotline on 1-877-952-7277. This allows officers to identify current hot spot locations and work with both residents and wildlife to encourage use of natural habitats and food sources before wildlife becomes habituated and/or a safety concern.
For more information on keeping communities’ safe and wildlife wild please visit www.wildsafebc.com, or follow us on Facebook WildSafeBC Elk Valley.