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WildSmart is a program of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and relies entirely on donations and sponsors.
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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


Living with Wildlife

Wildlife Reporting:
Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?

The Living with Wildlife column is published monthly in the Rocky Mountain Outlook to create awareness of living with wildlife challenges. We also work with local newspapers, radio and television stations to promote wildlife safety issues through the media on a weekly basis.

A calm sunny, morning makes for a perfect stroll through Larch Islands. It also makes for a perfect grizzly bear breakfast, especially since the Sheperdia berries are now ripe.

In the Bow Valley, we live with wildlife around us everywhere, everyday. Appropriate wildlife reporting is critical to maintain a level of safety for humans and wildlife. Thus, it is important to understand when wildlife sightings should be reported, who they should be reported to, and what happens when a report is made.

For all emergencies, call 911.

A grizzly bear browsing on Sheperdia next to a well traveled trail may not be an emergency yet it is appropriate to report its presence. All bear and cougar sightings, aggressive elk, dead animals, kill sights, and wildlife displaying aggressive or unusual behavior are top wildlife reporting priorities.

Wildlife reports should be made to:

Kananaskis Emergency Services Centre (KESC) at 403.591.7755

KESC is staffed by trained personnel who will record and relay pertinent information in a timely manner. KESC will require specific information from you such as:

  • Your name
  • Contact information
  • What you saw
  • Where you saw it
  • Specific markings (collars, ear tags, different colors of fur, injuries, etc)
  • What the animal was doing
  • How close the animal was
  • What time it was seen.

Reporting the wildlife sighting as soon as possible ensures KESC can relay the information to appropriate agencies in a timely manner. Cell phones are helpful to the KESC, as they allow for real-time reporting. KESC may request you to stay on the line as they may be actioning another call at the same time. Depending on the call, government officials might simply record the data, or might visit the site to ensure the situation is safe for both the public and the animal in question.

Keep in mind that wildlife are very mobile and able to cover large distances in a relatively short time. Wildlife updates will provide a snap shot of a specific animal, time and location. By the time you receive wildlife sighting information, the sighted animal may still be in the same location, or it may be somewhere completely different. In the Bow Valley, wildlife may be encountered in almost any location at any time. Always be prepared to encounter wildlife. For information on wildlife encounters, wildlife issues or to find out how to help the Bow Valley become WildSmart, click here.

WildSmart is a proactive conservation strategy that encourages efforts by all to reduce negative human-wildlife interactions.

We thank our sponsors and the community for their support, we could not do this without you.

Residents are encouraged to report any sightings of bear, cougar or aggressive elk to 403-591-7755.
For all public safety emergencies call 9-1-1.


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