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WildSafeBC warns residents after multiple bear sightings in and around Fernie

WildSafeBC said that multiple bear sightings have been reported around Fernie within residential areas and along trails.

Bears have been reported in Ridgemont and Montane residential areas, the Dog park, New Horizons, Old Stumpy Trail and on the Montane trails.

“We’ve chosen to live in wildlife habitats, so really it’s up to us to make sure that there is nothing attracting wildlife into the community,” said Kathy Murray, WildSafeBC community coordinator for the Elk Valley.

Run-ins with bears in the community can be avoided by keeping garbage indoors and cleaning your property of anything that would attract wild animals.

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“Bear safety starts at home. We’ve got people that have concerns about bears passing through town, accessing unnatural food and garbage,” explained Murray. “If you see a bear or a moose, stop, stay calm, back away slowly and just give the animal a wide berth.”

Murray added that several moose sightings have been reported in the area, as well as a run-in with one of the animals.

“We have moose and calves in pretty much every park in Fernie. We had an incident last week with an off-leash dog. Dogs chasing and barking at moose will provoke defensive behaviour, so the moose chased the dog, and there were no injuries,” said Murray. “If you know there are moose in the area, please keep your dog on a leash.”

Residents that run into conflict with wildlife are encouraged to call the Conservations Officer’s Service RAPP line.

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