Do you see the bear?
Alberta Environment and Parks Wendy Aupers (right) and Sarah Downey (far back) helping kids develop awareness
Jay Honeyman, Alberta Environment
|Imitation bear droppings, part of the awareness excursion|
|Bear resistant refuse bin on display|
Something made clear at the presentations was bears like food, and are smart and curious. They like to explore, and discover new things. Food attracts them but so does new things they have not seen, or played with before. If a bear is exhibiting no aggressive behavior, it may just be investigating their surroundings. After all the presentations people were taken outside and shown how to properly use bear spray, and a can of bear spray was given out to each family in attendance. Waterton Biosphere Reserve Chair Jeff Bectell said this was the fourth time they have done a community presentation of this scale in addition to presentations to service groups like 4-H and in schools.
Tony Bruder demonstrating bear spray
Fatal bear attacks are rare. However, one occurred not far from the site of the workshop on August 22, 1998, a 40 year old man named Christopher Kress was killed by a grizzly bear while fishing on the South Castle River near the Beaver Mines campground. Monty Adams, 32, was mauled to death by a grizzly while hunting for sheep near Pincher Creek on September 15, 1979. The last fatal bear attack in Alberta was on May 7, 2014 when a Suncor worker was killed by a black bear at a remote oilsands mine site. Other fatal bear attacks recorded in Alberta: In September of 2014 a hunter named Rick Cross was killed by a mother brown bear when he accidentally got between her and her cubs. A hunter named Robert Wagner,was killed by a grizzly bear near Sundre in 2008. A hunter named Don Peters was killed by a grizzly near Sundre in November of 2007. In June of 2005 a woman jogging in Canmore named Isabelle Dube was killed when the grizzly she at first escaped pulled her from the tree she had climbed and killed her. In 1977 a 5 year old girl named Alison Muser was mauled by a black grizzly while playing with her sister at Cameron Creek in Waterton Lakes National Park and died in transit to hospital. A 51 year old biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service named Wilf Etherington was killed while relocating a trapped and sedated grizzly at Banff National Park on September 25, 1973. A man named Lyndom Hooper was killed by a black bear while fishing near Cadomin, Alberta on September 6, 1959. A 7 year old girl named Donna Coates was killed by a black bear while picking berries outside her family's cottage at Suwapta Falls in Jasper National Park. On Spetmebr 12, 1829 Parks Canada warden Percy Goodair was killed by a bear while on duty in the Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park. (source)