Thursday, October 1, 2015

Berry-foraging bear captured in west-end Pincher Creek

Bear captured near Canyon Crescent (Charleen Bruder photos)
Toni Lucas

Fish and Wildlife officers, RCMP, and Town of Pincher Creek Bylaw officers treed and removed a bear from the southwest area of Pincher Creek close to Canyon Crescent at approximately 10:00 am on Thursday, October 1.  "It was right at the end of that cul-de-sac, in a poplar tree," said Pincher Creek Fish and Wildlife District Officer Paul Johnson. Johnson said he has encountered this bear before, having chased it out of town recently. "It has a unique white marking on its chest, and I can certainly verify this is the same bear we saw earlier in the week." There were occasional reports of sightings of a bear, but no reports of a bear going for garbage or disturbing pets or residents. "He was displaying natural behavior, going for berries.  We find we don't trap them very successfully," said Johnson, who further explained that bears who are going for the berry or fruit trees are not yet habituated and are wary of people, and therefore tend to avoid traps.  Johnson estimated the two year old male bear weighs about 100 pounds. "He is small, and very timid."  Johnson said the bear has now been ear-tagged.

Crowsnest Pass Fish and Wildlife officer John Clarke was also involved in the capture. Clarke has trained Karelian bear dogs and he has much experience dealing with bears in residential areas as well. Johnson said "They are good bears, they're just trying to get those food stocks up and their fat up for winter. We live in bear country. Regular residential BearSmart practices are very important." 

Charleen Bruder photo

Lessening the attractants for bears is recommended, including:
  • Pick ripe fruit or berries from the trees, bushes, and ground
  • Monitor or eliminating pet food outside
  • Clean out bird feeders regularly
  • Take your garbage out on garbage day, not earlier

Related story:
Black bear removed from tree in Pincher Creek

Related links:
BearSmart Best Practices
Reporting hotline 1-800-642-3800

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