Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: August 3 to August 9


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

For the period: August 3 to August 9, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Bears are moving through neighborhoods in the Bow Valley in search of buffaloberries, and there have been several reports of bears in backyards! Berry bushes and fruit trees are the main attractants drawing bears into backyards and a great proactive step that you can take is to remove these attractants from your yard. Berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into residential areas, putting wildlife and people at risk. If you need to borrow pruners and/or fruit pickers to help remove these attractants from your yard, please drop by WildSmart at the Biosphere Resource Centre in Canmore.

Photo by Sarah Hutchinson

Photo by Sarah Hutchison

Recently a pet attracted a bear into a residential yard. The pet owner managed to deter the bear using bear spray, however the pet did get injured by the bear before it was deterred. It is not recommended to leave dogs, cats and other pets in your backyard as they may attract bears and other wildlife.

This past week a wolf was killed by a vehicle along Highway 1 and a motorcyclist hit a bear on Highway 40. A wolf and a bear were also seen along the side of the highway feeding on a carcass. This serves as a reminder that motorists should obey posted speed limits and constantly scan for wildlife feeding or walking roadside. If you see one animal be prepared to see more and adjust your speed accordingly.

Please be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along trails. Be vigilant and take extra precautions so as not to surprise bears focused on eating berries. When bears are surprised they can respond defensively as they may feel threatened. Try to avoid surprising bears by remembering to make lots of noise (be consistent and constant), travel in groups, keep your dog on a leash, respect warnings and closures and be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for signs of wildlife, do not wear headphones and pay attention to your surroundings). Bear scat can be an indication of bear activity in the area. During berry season bear scat looks a lot like strawberry jam! Keep an eye out for it on the trails and try to avoid areas with fresh scat.

Berry season scat

Berry season bear scat

Remember to carry bear spray in an easily accessible location, know how to use it and be prepared to use it! Close encounters with bears can happen in seconds so you need to be ready.

There continues to be a Bear Warning for the south side of the Bow River in Canmore (see maps below), from Stewart Creek all the way up to and including the Canmore Nordic Centre due to numerous bears feeding on berries.

CanmoreWarning2018_20180718 CNCWarning2018_20180718

If you have not already done so, please read the Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report. Today (August 10), is the deadline to share your feedback and provide comments via email to: [email protected]

The Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report was created to provide recommendations to reduce conflict between wildlife and humans in the Bow Valley. Feedback received will help inform the implementation of the recommendations!

Current Warnings and Closures

-Bear Warning – Mt. Kidd RV Park and staff residence loop due to a black bear frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning - Three Isle Lake Trail from North Interlakes Day Use Area to Forks Backcountry Campground due to multiple grizzly bears in the area, including sows with cubs.

-Bear Closure - Paddy’s Flat Interpretive Trail due to a black bear in the area feeding on buffaloberry bushes along the trail.

-Bear Warning - Paddy’s Flat Campground due to multiple sightings of black bears and grizzly bears feeding on berries.

-Bear Closure - Gorge Creek Road due to animals on a carcass within close proximity to the road.

-Bear Closure - Tom Snow Trail from Mountain Road to Moose Loop due to bears feeding on a carcass.

-Bear Closure - Centennial Ridge Trail from Ribbon Creek Trailhead to the summit of Mount Allan and Coal Mine Trail due to a black bear that bluff charged hikers and grizzly and black bears that are frequenting the area to feed on buffaloberries.

-Bear Warning - South side of the Bow River in Canmore, including Quarry Lake Day Use, Peaks of Grassi, Canmore Nordic Centre and area trails due to numerous bears feeding on berries. Click here to view the map of the affected area.

-Bear Warning – Facility Zone in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park as grizzly bears with cubs have been frequenting campgrounds, day use areas, trailheads and trails.

-Bear Warning – Heart Creek Day Use Area, Heart Creek Trail and surrounding area due to black bears in the area feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning – Canyon Campground due to multiple bears frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning - Grassi Lakes Day Use Area Trails due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation in close proximity to the trails.

-Bear Warning – Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation.

-Bear Warning - Sandy McNabb Campground due to a black bear frequenting the campground.

Here is a list of some additional Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country. Note that most of these annual closures ended on June 15.

*Bears are not only found in closure and warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all 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

WildSmart educates people on how to be more proactive and avoid encounters with wildlife. Encounters still occur and we like to make sure those encounters are pawsitive ones. If you want to become more ‘bear aware’, learn how to use bear spray, and want to learn more about how to handle encounters with wildlife, come to our ‘Wildlife Safety for Bow Valley Families’ Workshop on Wednesday August 15 from 6-8pm at Bow Valley Parent Link in Canmore. Registration is required for this FREE workshop (click on the poster below for more details).

BVPL Raising Wildlife Aug.15, 2018

We hope to see you there!


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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