Bear Activity Report

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403.591.7755 (Local)

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Bear Activity: April 27 to May 3


(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)

For the period: April 27 to May 3, 2018

Welcome to the first weekly bear report of 2018!


Welcome back to another bear season in the Bow Valley! There has been grizzly bear activity in the Kananaskis Valley and reports of grizzly and black bears in the Bow Valley in the past week. Black bear tracks have also recently been spotted at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

At this early time of the year bears are slowly emerging from their dens and, like humans, it might take them a little while to fully wake up. Their first food of the season is usually fresh shoots, roots, bulbs, and dandelions. They may also be found in the run-out zones of avalanche paths looking for carcasses of animals (bighorn sheep and mountain goats) that were caught in slides over the winter.

Mother bears will also be emerging from their dens with their cubs. Because of last year’s great berry crops there could be some healthy cubs this year! Give these new mothers and their young lots of space.

The ditches will be greening up along the highways in the Bow Valley very shortly and that is going to draw all kinds of wildlife into the ditches looking for that green grass. Motorists need to obey speed limits and constantly scan for wildlife feeding in the ditches. If you see one animal be prepared to see more and adjust your speed accordingly. We see a high mortality rate of wildlife from vehicles in the Bow Valley, so we want all motorists to travel safely and help protect our wildlife by understanding that the likelihood of encountering wildlife on or close to the road is increased during the spring season.

Photo by Jamin Mulvey

Photo by Jamin Mulvey

If you stop on the highway to view wildlife it must be done in a safe manner. Take your picture from a distance and move on, do not linger at the location and never exit your vehicle to take a picture. Never feed wildlife or encourage wildlife to come closer to your vehicle.

You can reduce the risk of bear encounters if you remain vigilant when recreating outdoors! Make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence, travel in groups, keep dogs on leash, be aware of your surroundings and recognize signs of wildlife (i.e. tracks/scat), and carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it. Bear spray should be carried while walking on the trails in and around town.

Current Warnings and Closures

-There is an ongoing Seasonal Wildlife Closure on the trails within the designated wildlife corridor in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park adjacent to the Canmore Nordic Centre.

*There are NO other current bear warnings or closures in the Bow Valley (east of the Banff park gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park) but that does NOT mean that there are no bears in these areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Additional warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

Additional warnings and closures are available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.

And Now some Paws-itive News

To celebrate and welcome bears back on the landscape for another year, Alberta Parks and WildSmart once again hosted Bear Day at Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park’s Day Lodge on April 14th. We had a great turnout with many eager people who came out to try and become more bear aware. This included learning how to use bear spray, improving their bear spray ‘quick draw’ skills with the new Alberta BearSmart bear cart, refreshing their bear safety knowledge, learning how to camp safely in bear country, viewing grizzly bear and other wildlife displays, chatting with our Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors and joining WildSmart on a new family hike where participants learned how to avoid bears and handle a variety of different bear encounters out on the trail.

A particpant practicing their 'quick draw' with the Alberta BearSmart bear cart at Bear Day 2018

A participant practicing their ‘quick draw’ with the Alberta BearSmart bear cart at Bear Day 2018


Important Note:

Please do not use the comment box to report sightings of wildlife.

Report any sightings of a bear, cougar, wolf or any aggressive wildlife in Kananaskis or the Bow Valley to Kananaskis Emergency Services 403.591.7755

For current postings of Bear Warnings, Wildlife Warnings and Closures please visit the following page:
Kananaskis Country - Advisories and Public Safety

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