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Grizzly bear bluff charges hikers near Elkford

Hikers travelling along Elkford’s Josephine Falls Trail on Tuesday got too close, and startled a mother grizzly bear and her cub, provoking a bluff charge.

“That’s normal defensive behaviour, especially from a bear defending her food, her space or her cubs,” said Kathy Murray, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator. “If you surprise an animal at close range, they will run towards you and turn around in the other direction. They’re trying to put out a warning that you’ve gotten too close.”

The Conservation Officers Service recommends people avoid the area, and the District of Elkford has put up warning signs at the trailhead.

Murray said it’s important to be safe when travelling outdoors.

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“We’re seeing more people hiking, biking, and camping in grizzly bear habitat. It’s really important to put thought into preventing encounters with wildlife,” said Murray.

Making plenty of noise, having and knowing how to use bear spray, keeping a clean campsite and avoid littering on trails can all be effective ways to keep bears away.

Conflict with grizzly bears other animals can be reported to the Conservation Officer’s RAPP line.

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