Immediately the law enforcement officers searched the area, by truck, foot and quad. In the meantime, the Community Bylaw Officer and the RCMP also informed residents and pedestrians in the area what was taking place and to be cautious.
I also arrived, stopped and talked to a father and daughter at the park, a parent and kids playing in front of the apartments, a teenager on his bike on his way back to school, gave a friend’s daughter a ride back to school and IGA staff member walking to work on the walking trail.
The bear was not located, following an hour search. In fact, the RCMP saw no hide or hair of the bear. Several phone calls were called in from residents living in the area.
As the saying goes, “Most times a bear is more afraid of you, then you are of it.”
We live in bear country. This is their territory.
Bears are lured to town limits, particularily the outskirts, the downtown trailer park and Hammond Drive area are the two most popular bear entry locations explained Fish and Wildlife District Officer Marc Foisy.
The number one reason bears like Fox Creek - Garbage.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate so far this year,” said Officer Foisy. To date, only two bears in town limits were reported to the Fish and Wildlife office.
On both accounts, the bears were not captured or removed from town limits, they left on their own.
“The biggest problem is garbage and it does not seem to get any better,” he said.
Ever wonder what to do if and when you may encounter a bear?
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) website provides these tips:
- Do not run. Stay calm, make no sudden movements and do not act in a threatening manner.
- Speak to the bear in a soft, low voice. Speaking calmly to the bear lets it know that you are not a prey animal and helps to keep you calm and focused.
- Keep the group together. Gather children in close and do not let anyone leave the group.
- Prepare to use your bear spray.
- Back away slowly without turning your back to the bear.
- If the bear charges, do not run. Stand your ground. A bear may come very close to you when making a bluff charge, and it may make more than one bluff charge. NEVER run.
- Remember that bluff charges are made to communicate that you’ve invaded the bear’s space and it wants you to move off. The majority of bluff charges are, in fact, bluffs, and do not end with the bear making contact. Shooting the bear out of fear in bluff situations may result in the needless death of a bear.
Bear spray is encouraged to have if you are active outdoors.
When the bear approaches, use your bear spray (not so sure I would be thinking of the distance if this was to really happen?):
At 9 to 15 m (30 to 50 ft) fire a warning blast for ½ to 1 second, aiming the bear spray slightly downward.
At 6 to 9 m (20 to 30 ft) fire 1 to 2-second blasts in continuous succession, aiming slightly downward in front of the bear’s head until the bear leaves.
At 0 to 6 m (0 to 20 ft) fire 1 to 2-second blasts in continuous succession, aiming at the head, or into the nose and mouth of the bear until the bear leaves.
Try to keep some bear spray in reserve. Always re-evaluate your situation.
After spraying the bear, back away. Keep the bear in sight as you leave the area, and stay alert. Bears may be attracted to the bear spray residue.
If the bear does make contact, play dead. Cover the back of your neck with your hands. Lie on your stomach with your legs anchored to the ground. If the bear rolls you over, roll back on to your stomach. Don’t move until you’re sure the bear has left the area.
Once the bear has stopped, remain quiet. Yelling at the bear may provoke it into a further attack.
Defensive attacks are short. If the bear has started to bite or if the attack is prolonged, it may have turned predatory.
How do we prevent problems between bears and people?
Remember that bears are clever, curious and live to eat. Bears are in a constant search for new food sources. Once they have discovered a new food source it is extremely difficult to keep them from returning to it. To prevent problems from starting, never leave any kind of food for the bear to find.
Remember that bears have an excellent sense of smell. Managing the smells of potential bear food – including human and pet foods, garbage, grains and harvested animals – is an essential part of preventing problems with bears.
When in bear territory, keep food and garbage in airtight containers, and store anything that may have the smell of food or garbage away from humans and out of the reach of bears.
Be BearSmart. Most bear encounters can be prevented. Learn how to avoid bear encounters and how to react if you find yourself in an unavoidable encounter with a bear.
For more information checkout: http://www.srd.alberta.ca/RecreationPublicUse/AlbertaBearSmart/BearsOutdoorRecreation.Print This Post