A local woman walking her dog in a closed area in Canmore was attacked by a bear Sunday evening (Aug. 6).
It’s not known for sure if it was a grizzly bear or black bear. Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed there are several bears in the area, but, based on trail camera photos, none are grizzly bears.
“A local woman and her dog was attacked by a bear yesterday, in the early evening, in the closure area near the Canmore reservoir (Rundle forebay),” said Sherene Khaw, assistant director of communications for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, the department that oversees Fish and Wildlife.
“She has been treated in the hospital for her injuries, and released. The dog was unharmed.”
Provincial wildlife officials in Canmore, who have been working hard to protect bears and people, have practically begged people to keep out of the closed area. The area was closed on July 27 because numerous bears are feeding on buffalo berries.
At press time, there were no details provided on whether the woman had her dog on or off leash, or carrying bear spray.
Circumstances of the encounter also are not available at this time, including whether the bear was surprised and acted defensively.
It is also not yet known what plans Fish and Wildlife has for the bear.
RCMP, Town of Canmore bylaw, and Fish and Wildlife vehicles were all seen parked at various access points to the closed area Monday (Aug. 7).
“Fish and Wildlife officers are currently investigating the situation and are in the process of determining next steps,” said Khaw.
The area near the Canmore reservoir is closed to all access until further notice.
For information on the closure area, go to Bow Valley WildSmart at http://www.wildsmart.ca/trail-closures.htm or the Alberta Environment and Parks Kananaskis Parks website at http://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/kananaskis-country/advisories-public-safety/ .
Members of the public are encouraged to report serious problem wildlife occurrences in the area around the closure to 1-800-642-3800. For more information on how to stay safe while in bear country, visit bearsmart.alberta.ca.
The Outlook will provide more details as they become available.