Grizzly bear walking along Chimo Crescent in Elkford and black bears on Pine Crescent in Fernie

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. 

 

 

Bear sighting reported on Pine Crescent last night in Fernie

I dont mind bears eating apples in my yard, whats the big deal?

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 applepickfernie@gmail.com 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

Two cougars destroyed near Island Lake Lodge in Fernie

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.

Cougar sighting in the Annex park last night, Grzzly bear on Fairy Creek trail this morning

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/

Moose sightings reported on trails in the Mt Fernie Provincial Park

Moose sightings were reported by mountain bikers on Eric’s Trip and Phat Bastard trails yesterday.

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 behaviors, 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.
  • Drive cautiously, scanning for moose along roadsides, especially between dusk and dawn to avoid collisions.

For more information on moose go to https://wildsafebc.com/moose/

 

moose deserve their space and privacy

 

 

Trail runner bluff charged by grizzly and cubs last night on the Tamarac Trail

Tuesday August 8.  A trail runner was bluff charged by a grizzly bear and cubs last night at about 8:30pm 200 meters from the summit of the Tamarac Trail.  The grizzly and cubs bluff charged him and ran in the other direction.  Normal defensive behavior for a grizzly bear defending her cubs, food and space.  Fortunately the lone trail runner who  was calling out about every 50 meters and had bear spray was well prepared and escaped without injury.

For more information on wildlife safety go to https://wildsafebc.com/species/

 

Be prepared to share the trails with bears, cougars, moose and other trail users.

Be prepared to share the trails with bears, cougars, moose and other trail users.

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/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lazy Lizard trail and Island Lake Lodge trails now open

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/

 

Moose charged a biker by Maiden Lake in Fernie

Moose charged a biker by Maiden Lake in Fernie

A moose cow has been hanging around in the wetland behind Maiden Lake. She ran out onto the trail to investigate when she was startled by the biker.

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.
  • Drive cautiously, scanning for moose along roadsides, especially between dusk and dawn to avoid collisions.

For more information go to https://wildsafebc.com/moose/