Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: November 17 to November 23

Notice the colouring of the tail with a distinct black tip. Photo courtesy of Alberta Environment and Parks


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

For the period: November 17 to November 23, 2017

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There have not been any reported sightings of bears in the Canmore area this past week but there continue to be reports of grizzly bears (mostly males) still moving around the landscape in surrounding areas. This recent warm weather may keep them out of their dens longer. As such, please remain vigilant when recreating outdoors, and be prepared for possible encounters with wildlife. Remember to carry bear spray, know how to use it and use it if required. Bear spray should be carried year-round as it may also be effective against non-hibernating wildlife such as cougars, wolves, coyotes and elk.

Cougars have been known to follow deer (their main food source) into residential areas at this time of year so please remember to be cougar smart. Cougar tracks normally do NOT have claw marks, whereas wolf, coyote and dog tracks normally DO have claw marks. Animals such as deer, bobcats and coyotes are often mistaken for cougars, especially in dense vegetation. One of the best ways to confirm a cougar sighting is to look for their long skinny tail with a black tip.

Photo courtesy of Aliah Knopff

A typical cougar track with no visible claw marks. Photo courtesy of Aliah Knopff

Notice the colouring of the tail with a distinct black tip. Photo courtesy of Alberta Environment and Parks

Notice the distinct black tip on a cougar’s tail. Photo courtesy of Alberta Environment and Parks

Remember that it is still hunting season. Please be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of dead animals. Hunters should always carry and use bear spray as the first line of defence, even if they are carrying a gun. Here is an insightful article about hunters and bear spray.

Warnings and Closures

Cougar Warning – Votiers Flats Area in Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary. There is a cougar in the area.

*There are NO current bear warnings or closures in the Bow Valley (east of the Banff park gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park) but that does NOT mean that there are no bears in these areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Additional 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.

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 we are wrapping up the bear reports for this year, there are still plenty of animals awake and active throughout the winter. One of those animals is the newly reintroduced bison in Banff National Park. As part of our speaker series, we will be screening the film ‘Bison Return’ on December 6th, 7pm, at the Canmore Collegiate High School. This documentary created by Fireweed Creative, is about the bison reintroduction in Banff National Park. The film will be followed by a short presentation by Parks Canada on the current status of the Banff bison. We look forward to you joining us on Dec.6!

Photo courtesy of Fireweed Creative

Photo courtesy of Fireweed Creative


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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