Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: November 2 to November 8


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

For the period: November 2 to November 8, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


The bears are still awake! Although no recent bear activity has been seen in the Bow Valley, several grizzly bears (both male and female) continue to move around Kananaskis Country searching for last minute calories. So while you are busy waxing your cross-country skis, you should still be thinking about bears and other wildlife, and the possibility of running into them while out on the trails. Be prepared for encounters before you leave your house, remember to carry bear spray, know how to use it and to use it if required. Bear spray is also effective against non-hibernating wildlife such as cougars, wolves, coyotes and elk.

webcam 3 patJPGcropped

Several wolves and coyotes have recently been seen in and around town which serves as a reminder that even though bear activity is slowing down, there are still other wild animals to be aware of. Here are some reminders about how to be proactive and help reduce your risk of encounters with wildlife; 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), keep pets on-leash when walking outdoors, remember to pick up after your dogs as their feces can act as an attractant for other animals, do not feed your pets outside or leave any garbage or items that have a smell outside as they may attract dangerous wildlife. Leaving food out for animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, deer and elk can also be very dangerous, not only for the health of the animals but feeding deer will attract predators such as cougars into town. Even if you have never seen bears or other wildlife near your home before, this video of a black bear shows that it can happen to anyone and no one is immune.

There have been several recent reports of an injured elk in the Canmore area. The elk is being monitored by Fish and Wildlife officers and they would like to remind you that wild animals are very resilient, a cow elk was missing a back leg and continued to reproduce for three years in a row. Injured animals should be reported when the animal is no longer mobile, when it is not able to feed or when the animal is down for an extended period of time with its head down.

Please dispose of your pumpkins properly to help keep wildlife outside of residential areas! Check out this video of moose eating pumpkins on a porch. In Canmore, pumpkins can be taken to the bear proof ‘Pumpkin and Tree Fruit Only’ bins at the 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot (open 8 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week) and downtown between Save on Foods and Canadian Tire (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Remember to remove candles and other non organic decorations as the bins are for PUMPKINS ONLY!

'Pumpkin and Tree Fruit Only' bin at 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot

‘Pumpkin and Tree Fruit Only’ bin at 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot

'Pumpkin and Tree Fruit Only' bin downtown between Canadian Tire and Save on Foods

‘Pumpkin and Tree Fruit Only’ bin downtown between Save on Foods and Canadian Tire

Elk continue to be seen around town and in open fields, school yards and playing fields. Be aware of elk, give them lots of space (at least 30m or 3 school bus lengths), keep pets on-leash and calmly leave the area if you see elk or other wildlife. If an elk does charge, prepare to use your bear spray and try to move behind a large object (i.e. car, large tree) and keep it between you and the elk.

Dave Elk river

It is still hunting season so 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. Bear spray should be carried in an easily accessible location; you need to know how to use it and be prepared to use it.

Current Warnings and Closures

*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!

Here is a list of some Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country.

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

Check out this article about ‘How to be the fattest bear.’ It helps to illustrate how important and how hard it is for a bear to gain enough weight during the summer months in order to survive hibernation. As quoted from the article, “Over the course of the year, a bear’s job is to sleep and then eat constantly in order to sleep again.” It is very paws-itive when bears go to bed fat and happy, as this is good news for their health and for reproduction. A healthy layer of fat will help keep them warm and provides calories to survive the winter. For females carrying one or more fertilized eggs, a healthy weight will allow implantation to occur, and it will help to sustain her and her young through the winter.


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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