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: May 26 to June 1

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

For the period: May 26th to June 1st 2017

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There have been many reports of bears in and around Canmore this week. Most reports have been of black bears (both black and cinnamon coloured). Bears are drawn into town by elk calving and by a current lack of high caloric natural food. It is still early in the season and current wild food for bears is limited to roots, bulbs, grasses and sedges and occasionally deer or elk calves or a winter killed carcass. As a result bears are scavenging for foods such as human garbage, greasy bbqs, bird feeders and pet food left outdoors. Help keep bears wild and everyone safe by removing yard attractants. Ensure that bbqs are clean, bird feeders are taken down, pet food is kept indoors and garbage is placed in sealed bear proof garbage bins. If you notice any garbage left outside of bear proof bins report it to the the Town of Canmore at 403-678-1580.

You should continue to expect to see bears in a variety of places around town including popular and well travelled trails. Make noise, travel in groups, keep pets on leash, carry bear spray and know how to use it.

grizzly bear 2

There were several concerning incidents of bears eating human food last week. In one case, charges were laid against a person caught intentionally feeding a bear in Kootenay National Park and in another case a bear gained access to garbage as it approached a group of campers in  a backcountry campsite by Lake Minnewanka (the shoreline of Lake Minnewanka from Stewart Canyon to the park boundary + Aylmer Pass trail is closed until further notice). There has been a report of people approaching bears to take photos. If you see any similar unsafe or illegal actions please report them to Kananaskis Emergency Services (403-591-7755) if in the Bow Valley and Banff Dispatch ( 403-762-1470) if in 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.

Current Warnings and Closures

It continues to be 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 make sure to 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

-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.

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

While doing events and programs that involve talking to the public about wildlife we get to hear some great stories! But sometimes we hear things that really confound us. Over the summer we’ll discuss some of the common bear myths and why they just don’t make sense.

Myth #1. A bear standing on its hind legs is acting aggressive. It’s easy to understand where this myth comes from. A bear standing on its hind legs is an intimidating sight! However if you see a bear standing on its hind legs it is more likely trying to get a better look at you than trying to terrify you with its impressive size. It’s similar to a person standing on tip toes and craning their neck for a better view. During a bear encounter, this is the time you want to help the bear identify you as human. You should remain calm and talk to the bear using your human voice. It is also the time to have your bear spray ready to use. Often, once a bear has identified you as human and not a threat, they want nothing to do with you. However in case they charge first and ask questions later, it’s important to have bear spray out and ready to use.


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

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