A bear was reported to be searching for food near Isabella Dicken Elementary and Fernie Secondary Schools on Monday morning.
Bear sightings have also been reported all along Ferneie’s 4th avenue.
According to Wildsafe BC, where bears have access to human foods, they will likely stay in town and may not hibernate at all.
“During a period called hyperphagia, bears prepare for hibernation by eating three times as much in the fall as they do in the summer,” said WildsafeBC. “In the fall, bears need up to 20,000 calories per day (about 300 apples) to gain enough weight to get through the winter.”
Wildsafe BC said that this year’s black bear encounters are at the highest they’ve been in six years.
More: Increased Bear Sightings in Elk Valley as Hibernation Season Approaches. (Oct 15, 2019)
WIldsafe BC is reminding the public to secure garbage and bear-proof properties, especially those living near schools.
Tips on reducing encounters or what to do if you see bears can be found here.