Bear Activity Report

Living with Wildlife - Watch the Movie

How to Donate

Bow Valley WildSmart is a program of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and relies entirely on donations and sponsors.
How to Donate
Receive weekly bear activity reports, news & events by email.
Sign up

Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
emergencies call 9-1-1

Bear Activity: August 4 to August 10


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

For the period: August 4 to August 10 2017

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There continues to be lots of bear activity in the Bow Valley, resulting in new and continued warnings and closures. Also, a young woman was attacked by a bear while walking her dog on-leash on Sunday evening near the Canmore Reservoir. Fish and Wildlife consider the attack to be a defensive surprise encounter by the bear, and the bear will be continued to be monitored along with all other bears in the area.

IMG_2455 (1)-Jamin

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) report that closure tape and signage has been removed in recent days by members of the public on multiple trails in the current Bear Closure area around Quarry Lake (see red closure picture below). These actions can result in the public unknowingly entering a closed area. This puts both people and bears at risk. Please respect closed areas and demonstrate our communities’ willingness to co-exist with wildlife.

Closure tape removed AEP

The berries in the valley bottoms are still ripe and will continue to persist, while the berries at higher elevations such as Spray Lakes, are just starting to ripen. Therefore you can expect that bears will be feeding on berries in a larger area ranging from valley bottoms up to these higher elevations. This is likely why there have been some new large area warnings issued by Alberta Parks (see Warnings and Closures section below).

People need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and check for warnings and closures before leaving their homes. If you plan to visit a warning area, then make sure you “know before you go” and be prepared to properly handle an encounter.

Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of surprise encounters with wildlife: Make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence, travel in groups, keep dogs on leash, be aware of your surroundings, obey warnings and closures, and carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it. Close range encounters with bears can happen in seconds so you need to be ready: practice your quick draw! This should become second nature to you so that you are ready to properly handle a bear encounter.


Just a heads up that Alta Link will be doing transmission line vegetation management near Lawrence Grassi Ridge from August 5 to September 5. This area is their right of way and gets cut regularly in order to prevent unwanted contacts and interference with transmission lines. Click on the image below for more information.

Canmore Brushing July 31_2_Page_1


Warnings and Closures

An Area Closure is still in effect for the Area surrounding Quarry Lake, Grassi Lakes Day Use Area and Trails, Powerline and select areas between Rundle Canal and Three Sisters Golf Course, and various trails. Bear encounter that resulted in injuries and numerous bears feeding on berries in the area. The immediate area around and including Quarry Lake and the main meadow of the off-leash dog park (see red map below) are open.



There is still a bear warning at the Canmore Nordic Centre (see yellow map below) due to numerous bears in the area feeding on berries.


-Bear Closure: Kananaskis Village Surrounding Trails. A grizzly bear with two cubs bluff charged hikers in the area and numerous bears feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning: Spray Lakes West Campground, roadways and surrounding area. Black bear feeding on ripe Buffaloberries. 

-Bear Warning: Kananaskis Valley Watershed and surrounding Parks. Numerous bears feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning: Bow Valley Watershed and surrounding Parks. Numerous bears feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning: Spray Valley Watershed and surrounding Parks. Numerous bears feeding on berries.

-There are numerous warnings in Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park, please see the links below.

Additional bear 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 the human-bear conflict summary map.

Here are some thoughts on the decision to relocate Bear 148.

Here is more information on managing grizzly bears in Alberta.

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

We would like to recognize the dedicated efforts of our award-winning Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors! The Wildlife Ambassador Program is a community-driven education initiative that promotes responsible land use and wildlife safety ethics in Kananaskis Country and surrounding communities. This program has been running for 10 years and is jointly managed by Alberta Parks and WildSmart. Most of our volunteers have been involved since the beginning. They are neither enforcement nor government employees. They are a well-trained group of dedicated volunteers concerned about the future of humans and wildlife in the Bow Valley and want to share the message of coexistence. They have in-person conversations (not confrontations) with people at trail heads, on trails, at closure and warning areas, visitor info centres, and local community events. In 2016, they had over 6400 personal contacts and they also received the Paul Greig Memorial Award for Volunteer Excellence from the Mayor of Canmore!


Their conversations focus on the needs of wildlife, conflict avoidance, and appropriate safety information. They sometimes use props such as pelts, skulls, and tracks to help facilitate conversations. Wildlife Ambassadors receive 3 days of mandatory training with Alberta Parks and WildSmart in the spring before heading out on trails. This training focuses on how to spread messages on complicated issues in an effective way to diverse groups. Recruitment normally happens in winter and is publicized on our website (, Facebook (Bow Valley WildSmart), and local media. If you would like more information please visit our website or send an email to: [email protected]


Wildlife Ambassadors are easy to recognize in their bright orange shirts. If you see them out on the trails this weekend or summer, please stop by for a chat and give them a big thank you for all their dedicated work! Thank you, Wildlife Ambassadors, and keep up the good work!

WAP slide
IMG_8114 (2)
winter email_1420 (3)


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

© 2019 Bow Valley WildSmart Community Program  |  design & maintenance by Webmarks Design & Marketing  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy |