July 17th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 29
Residents urged to continue to be bear aware
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Submitted photo
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Residents are being asked to continue being bear aware and ensuring they are limiting bear attractants after a bear was euthanized.

Fish and Wildlife Officer, John Clarke, says that while sighting have begun to lessen and there should be less bears over the summer, residents still need to be aware and prepare for the fall when sighting are bound to increase.

“It has started slowing down as far as bears are concerned. We just had one constant bear in Frank that had to be euthanized. There are a couple other ones that are hanging around but currently aren't causing issues. This was an oddity being so busy in the spring but it will get busy again in the fall. Everything has greened up well so there should be lots of food in the woods for them for a while.”

Peace Officer, Grant Love, says he has been giving out warnings over the last number of weeks, which seems to be helping limit the number of attractants left for bears.

“On the very positive side, there have been a number of warning violations that were sent out and there has been no follow up actual enforcement tickets, which is very positive.”
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Love along with Fish and Wildlife and the BearSmart program have spent some evenings patrolling the neighbourhoods to see if people are putting their garbage out too early allowing bears to be attracted to it.

"We'd speak with the owners if they're there, if not then I would follow up with photographs and a warning,” said Love.

Love says another thing he’s noticed is for the most part, permanent residents aren’t the ones causing the main problems.

“Another positive is that the majority of the warning letters that I sent out were weekenders or people new to the Pass who were unaware of what they needed to be doing.”

There have been a couple of occasions that have seen tickets issued by Love.

“There were two businesses in the Frank area that were spoken to and had reoffended and I was able to go straight to a provincial violation ticket for both of those instances. I also elected to put those to provincial court for what we term as a mandatory court appearance rather than a monetary fine because it adds to the seriousness of the offence. We live in a wildlife corridor and they had already been warned regarding this.”

As for the bear that was euthanized, Clarke says it was a very unique case for him.
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“This was a bear that got habituated in Frank and I had moved it on the 4th of June to a remote area. I received calls about a tagged bear on June 15th back in Frank. So that bear made it back that fast and that's rare. They don't all come back. Some go on to different places, some come back years later or some come back like this and this is a rarity. I've never had a bear come back that fast.”

Clarke said when the bear returned, it was fairly skinny and had gone straight back to garbage and bird feeders as its food source.

Clarke also says it gets more difficult to deal with the bears a second time.

“The bears are harder to catch a second time around because they are a little bit wiser to what happened the first time.”

Clarke said the euthanized bear had gotten so comfortable that it had no problem going onto people decks.

Clarke wants people to know that dealing with bears this way is not something he enjoys and it’s important that the public avoids attracting bears.

“This is something I hate doing. I want to save them and change their behaviour the last thing I want to do is kill them.”

Clarke and Love both said there isn’t much more planned in the way of public awareness at this point in time but it may ramp up again once more bear sightings are made in the area.
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July 17th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 29
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