Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: June 22 to June 28

Photo Courtesy of Katarina Ducaiova


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

For the period: June 22 to June 28, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There has been lots of wildlife activity this past week and multiple bears have been seen on both sides of the Bow Valley. Both grizzly and black bears continue to be seen in the nearby MD of Bighorn hamlets and in residential areas in and around Canmore.

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder

There have been regular sightings of black bears at the Canmore Nordic Centre resulting in a bear warning for that area (see below). A cougar and black bear were recently seen on the Highline Trail during an early morning mountain bike ride and wolves have been seen further east in the Bow Valley near Camp Chief Hector.

DSC01272 (3)-JaminMost mother elk have now had their calves and the youngsters are up and running around. Female elk will still aggressively defend their calves. Be aware of your surroundings, even on popular and well visited trails around town. If you see a mother elk and calf do not approach and make sure to give them lots of space, at least 30 meters!

We recently had someone ask us to explain in detail what it means to “remain alert” while out recreating. Being alert means that you are focused on being aware of your surroundings (looking and listening for wildlife and their signs) and not distracted by other things such as listening to music, using and looking at your smartphones and being absorbed in watching your companions. Do not wear earbuds and headphones and avoid ‘distracted hiking’ by not texting and reading your smartphones while on the trails.

Wildlife can be encountered anywhere, anytime! Here are some reminders about how to be proactive and help reduce the risk of wildlife encounters:

-make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence

-travel in groups

-be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for wildlife and their signs)

-try to avoid recreating at dawn, dusk and at night as that is the time when wildlife is most active.

-keep dogs on-leash

-remember to pick up after your dogs as their feces can act as an attractant for bears

-do not leave any garbage, remnants of food or items that have a smell outside as they may attract wildlife

-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!


If you have not already done so, please read the Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report and share your feedback and 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 - 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 Closure - Ptarmigan Cirque Trail is closed due to a sow with 3 young cubs frequenting the area.

-Bear Closure – Bill Benson Trail due to a grizzly bear with cubs frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning - William Watson Lodge and William Watson Lodge Campground due to a grizzly bear with cubs frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning - Ribbon Creek Trail, Hidden Trail and Terrace Trail between the Ribbon Day Use and Kananaskis Village due to a black bear frequenting the area.

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

-Bear Warning – Indian Oils and Sheep River Trail due to a black bear sow with cub bluff charging a hiker and leashed dog.

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

Happy Canada Day and long weekend! WildSmart and the Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors will be walking in the Canada Day Parade on July 1 and we will also have a booth at Party in the Park in Centennial Park from 1-5pm. Drop by to see us, we look forward to chatting with you!

black bear canadaHere are some things you can do to help keep everyone safe and wildlife wild on this busy long weekend.

1. Report garbage that is not in bear proof bins. If you notice any garbage left outside of bear proof bins, or garbage bins that are full, call the Town of Canmore at 403-678-1580.

2. Lead by example. Many visitors to the Bow Valley are from places that don’t have bears. Show them how it’s done by giving wildlife LOTS of space and by properly securing garbage and attractants. Bears that gain access to these unnatural food sources can lose their natural fear of people, which increases the possibility of human-wildlife conflict. These bears can cause injury to people and pets, and destruction of property, resulting in bears being relocated or destroyed. If a visitor (or local) has a question about what you’re doing, have a friendly chat and fill them in on some of the stuff they should know about being in bear country.

3. Slow down but don’t stop. Always slow down for wildlife, especially at this time of year when there are bear cubs and elk calves running around that are unaware of roads and cars. Help prevent wildlife jams by slowing down and not stopping. If you must stop on roadways to view wildlife, 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 you or your vehicle.


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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