Bear moved out of valley
A black bear spotted in multiple backyards near Elk Run Boulevard last weekend has been relocated out of the valley after it was tranquilized by Fish and Wildlife officers.
Around 16 calls were received on Saturday (Sept. 15) of a bear, which was brown in colour and originally mistaken as a grizzly, seen roaming backyards and eating fruit from trees, predominately crab apple trees.
“It was going from yard to yard, deck to deck,” said Fish and Wildlife Officer Dave Dickson. “It was obviously habituated to fruit trees. The guys were one step behind that bear for most of the day.”
The officers described the brownish black bear as a three and a half year old female that was eventually captured and tagged the following day.
“I darted it out of a crab apple tree on Canyon Road and put it in one of our culvert holding traps and let it recover for the rest of the day and overnight,” he explained. “We then released it out of the valley.
“It just needs to learn how to be a bear again, away from people,” he added.
Despite its close proximity to houses in the area, Dickson indicated the bear showed no aggressive tendencies and was not consuming any human food sources.
“I could walk up to it and all but touch it when it was in that crab apple tree,” he said. “It was non-aggressive and as far as I know was not into any garbage.”
Earlier that day, town resident Gina Hoar spotted the bear after she pulled into her driveway and noticed what she originally thought was a dog underneath her neighbour’s tree.
It was then she realized it was a bear looking for apples.
“I honked my horn and the bear didn’t respond,” Hoar said. “I got out, shook my keys and yelled at the bear and she moved away. But she moved slowly and you could tell she didn’t want to move.”
Following the bear’s capture, Fish and Wildlife received reports of another light brown black bear sighting, which Dickson said explains why there has been so many sightings of late surrounding this type of bear on the south-facing slopes from Silvertip all the way to the Alpine Club.
He also pointed out that within the last 10 days, three bears have been tranquilized and removed from Canmore, including one off Grizzly Crescent and another near the overpass at the junction of Palliser Trail and Harvie Heights Road.
“It seems to be an issue every year. You’re going to attract wildlife that we will be forced to deal with,” the officer said about residents leaving edible fruit on trees in their backyards.
“That bear could have lost its life if conditions went wrong or it took a run at somebody that got too close,” he added.
“I’d like to remind people to pick those crab apples and get rid of them before we have another bear that we have to remove from town,” he continued. “Just be diligent. The berry season came early. The bears are still out and now they’re looking for alternative food sources.”
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