Residents are asked to be cautious after at least three separate bear families have been sighted within the District of Sparwood.
Mayor David Wilks said bear sightings are not unusual this time of year as they prepare to hibernate through the winter, but this year is different.
“They seem to be a little more aggressive than years past, and they seem to be hanging around the schools and we have a couple of others hanging around Michel Creek Road,” said Mayor Wilks.
Traps have been set to try and capture and safely relocate the bears, particularly around the high school and Frank J Mitchell Elementary.
“Those are of most importance because we have so many children in the schoolyards, just yesterday (Tuesday), they had all the children stay inside for the day as the bears were roaming around,” explained Wilks.
Trails around the schools and into Lower Sparwood have been closed, with signs posted to let the public know of animals in the area.
“We encourage the kids, for now anyway, to take an alternate route home, which will be one of the busier streets. Although it will be inconvenient to get home a little later than normal, it’s safer in the long run,” said Wilks.
Residents are asked to remove all possible animal attractants from their property, such as fruit trees, and keep garbage indoors until collection day.