Bear Activity Report

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403.591.7755 (Local)

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Bear Activity: May 12 to May 18

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

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

For the period: May 12th to May 18th 2017

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Black bears (some brown/blond coloured) have been seen around town this week, especially down by the Bow River and up towards Three Sisters and the Canmore Nordic Centre. It is elk calving season, and bears may be attracted into town by the new calves and their mothers. In addition, bears are currently foraging on young shoots and dandelions that are appearing along roadways and in open green areas. You should be prepared to see bears around Canmore and the Bow Valley! Make noise, keep pets on leash, travel in groups and carry bear spray while recreating.

It’s the May long weekend! While we’re thinking about kicking off summer with camping and barbecues (assuming it doesn’t snow again, ugh) it is time to remind ourselves that bears are thinking about food! Make sure that garbage and food are kept in vehicles or hard sided campers while camping. At camp and at home, we need to make sure that barbecues are cleaned and grease trays emptied after every use. Don’t think that just because your barbecue is on an upper story deck that it is safe! Bears are very proficient climbers especially when something smells like delicious steak.

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

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

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

Current Warnings and Closures

As mentioned above it is elk calving season. Mother elk are very protective and can aggressively defend their calves which may be hidden in thick vegetation. 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 give them lots of space!

-There is an ongoing Seasonal Wildlife Closure on the trails within the designated wildlife corridor at the Canmore Nordic Centre which are within Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park

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

Additional warnings and closures available here for Banff National Park

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

Last Sunday was mother’s day and while mother bears may not get cards and breakfast in bed, they play a very important role in the lives of their children. Bear cubs stay with their mothers for the first two or three years of their lives, so at this time of the year you might notice mother bears with very young cubs (which are referred to as young of year), or you might see what appears to be a group (or sloth) of bears that is actually a mother bear with one or more yearling cubs (one year olds). These cubs will be almost the same size as their mother but usually stay with her to learn how to be a bear. She’ll show them how to navigate the landscape, how to forage for food and how to den in the winter. She’ll also protect them from other animals who might try to hurt them. Mother’s are awesome!

Photo by: Jamin Mulvey. Grizzly bears: Most likely mother bear and yearling

Photo by: Jamin Mulvey. Grizzly bears: Most likely mother bear and yearling cub

For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to check out the new living with wildlife video, here it is!





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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