Grizzly chases off-leash dog
The fate of another grizzly bear is in the public’s hands following another careless off-leash dog incident.
Conservation officers are emphatically warning dog owners to keep their pets on-leash after a grizzly bear was spotted chasing a dog on the Rundleview power line, Monday night (July 9) near the Peaks of Grassi neighbourhood.
Around 7:30 p.m., conservation officers received a report of a ‘skinny, grey-coloured sled dog’ running free, with a grizzly in hot pursuit. The dog got away unharmed, according to an eyewitness.
The dog’s owner was on a mountain bike well ahead of his pet, said Conservation Officer Arian Spiteri.
“The dog was with a mountain biker, but might not have been aware the dog was being chased,” Spiteri said.
Further reported sightings of a grizzly bear followed on Tuesday, however, since the bear isn’t collared, it’s difficult to tell if it’s the same animal.
Conservation officers imposed warnings and closures on the Highline Trail, Riders of Rohan, Peaks of Grassi, and dog pond area at the back of the Quarry Lake dog park. Spiteri said it’s important to educate the public about living with wildlife, encouraging them to make noise on trails and carry bear spray.
The Rundleview power line trail is notorious for off-leash dogs, which creates a hazard for wildlife, the public and pets. Everyone needs to follow bear safety behaviour so grizzlies don’t get into trouble in the area, Spiteri said. When bears observe unpredictable human behaviour, their reaction can also become unpredictable.
“This is a reminder to the public to do their part,” Spiteri said. “It’s already a difficult landscape for bears. When people aren’t following bear safety rules, it affects bear behaviour. It’s important for public safety and keeping the bears safe.”
The bear sighting comes only two weeks after Fish and Wildlife officers removed bear 105 and her three female cubs from the same area. Public safety was cited as the reasoning for that removal and bear 105 and two of her cubs were re-located to the Grande Cache area. Her older cub, bear 123, was relocated to Kananaskis Country.
If the power line bear stays in the area and chases more animals, there’s a chance it could face a similar fate.
A number of bear sightings also came from the Canmore Nordic Centre on Monday and Tuesday (July 9-10). Multiple reports of a grizzly bear and brown black bears came in, however, again, it’s difficult to tell if it’s the same bear that was spotted in the Rundleview area.
“The Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park is bear habitat. People engaged in activities at the Nordic Centre should be prepared,” Spiteri said.
She’s noticed a lot of Nordic Centre users wearing earbuds and again reminds trail users to be aware on the trails.
Conservation officers ask the public to report all bear sightings to Kananaskis Public Safety at 403-591-7755.
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