Bear Activity Report

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403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
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Bear Activity: May 11 to May 17

Photo courtesy of Amar Athwal


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

For the period: May 11 to May 17, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There continue to be reports of bears (mostly black bears) throughout the Bow Valley (on both sides of the valley), in and around Canmore in residential areas and in the nearby MD of Bighorn hamlets. Black bear tracks continue to be spotted at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

At this time of year, bears in this area are often found in the valley bottoms eating foods like dandelions and grass. This increases their chance of encounters with people, especially with the busy long weekend coming up. If you plan on doing some camping, remember to keep your campsite clean and garbage free! Make sure that garbage and food are kept in vehicles or hard-sided campers while camping. If you are camping in the backcountry, please use the bear proof lockers and bear hangs (if provided), or properly hang your food and garbage in a bear bag from a tree.

Here is an example of a proper backcountry camp set-up

Here is an example of a proper backcountry camp set-up

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.

The ditches have greened up along the highways in the Bow Valley and that is going to draw all kinds of wildlife into the ditches looking for that green grass and dandelions. Motorists need to obey speed limits and constantly scan for wildlife feeding in the ditches. 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.

If you must stop on roadways 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.

A reminder that it is elk calving season! This means that there are going to be some spotted fawns running around soon! It also means that we need to be very vigilant of mother elk and their calves who may be hiding in dense vegetation. Leave at least 30 meters of space between yourself and all elk. Make sure you keep your dog on a leash. Mother elk can become very defensive if they feel threatened.

Warning Elk Calving Season

Current Warnings and Closures

-Bear Warning - The Kananaskis Country Golf Course including the staff housing area, parking lots, the Club House and other buildings, and the golf course maintenance compound due to multiple grizzly bears frequenting the area.

-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.

*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

Several female grizzly bears have already been spotted in Kananaskis Country with ‘young of year’ (yoy) cubs! These cubs were born in the den this past winter. This is very pawsitive news for the grizzly bear population in Alberta and shows that we had a good berry crop last year.

Photo courtesy of Amar Athwal

Photo courtesy of Amar Athwal

There have also been reports of a female bear with cubs in the Bow Valley (most likely a black bear). Please remember that mother bears can be extremely protective of their cubs so make sure you give them and their cubs lots of space! Make lots of noise in order to alert them of your presence, giving them time to move away.


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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