Bear Activity Report

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Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
emergencies call 9-1-1

Bear Activity: September 8 to September 14

Photo courtesy of Parks Canada


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

For the period: September 8 to September 14

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


We may have snow in the valley but that does not mean that the bears are going to sleep anytime soon. With buffaloberry season coming to an end, bears have moved on to eating dogwood in the valley bottoms. Higher elevation buffaloberry may still be ripe, as well as edible roots, so bears should be expected in both the valley bottoms and on the sides of the mountains foraging for food.

Photo by: Jamin Mulvey

Photo by: Jamin Mulvey

Fruit trees are very attractive to bears at this time of the year. There have been sightings of bears in neighborhoods over on the south side of the valley. Help keep bears safe and wild by removing fruit and other attractants from your yard. Once a bear has fed from a fruit tree it is too late; they will often return to do so again. Removing fruit from trees in your yard is a good option, but removing the tree itself is the best proactive way to ensure that your yard is bear free.

Elk rutting season is underway with several incidents already reported. Male elk can be especially defensive of the group of female elk they are protecting. Be aware of your surroundings, keep pets on leash, give elk lots of space (more than 30 meters), do not get between male elk and his female group, and if an elk does charge, prepare to use your bear spray and place a large object between you and the elk.

Elk 2016

Hunting season has started. 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.

Warnings and Closures

An Area Warning is in effect for the Area surrounding Quarry Lake, Grassi Lakes Day Use Area and Trails, Powerline and select areas between Rundle Canal and Three Sisters Golf Course, and various trails. 


There is still a bear warning at the Canmore Nordic Centre (see yellow map below) due to numerous bears in the area feeding on berries.


-Bear Closure: Bow River Trail from Whitefish day use to Bow Valley Campground and all unofficial trails surrounding loops D and E of Bow Valley Campground due to a black bear feeding on berries in the area and limited visibility on unofficial trail.

-Bear Warning: Bow Valley Campground due to a black bear feeding on berries in the area.

-Bear Warning: Heart Creek Trail and Day Use Area due to numerous sightings of black bears that have been reported along the Heart Creek Trail and Parking Lot. The bears have been reported feeding on vegetation.

There are additional warnings and closures 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.

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

In preparation for torpor (the bear version of hibernation) bears enter a state of hyperphagia in the late summer and fall. Hyperphagia is described as an increased appetite for the consumption of food. In other words, they want to eat A LOT! Bears need a healthy fat layer before they go into their deep sleep; it helps them to stay warm and provides calories to survive the winter. If they don’t gain enough fat reserves, they may wake up early in the spring or during the winter in a desperate attempt to find more food. If that fails, the bear may face starvation. The good news is that this year’s bumper berry crop means that bears should be getting nice and fat, ready to make it through the winter ahead.



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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