Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement has confirmed an escalation in bear sightings in and around the Town of Beaverlodge, stating it’s “not uncommon” for this time of year.
Coreana Harcourt reported seeing a black bear on the east side of the Research Station just after noon time Sept. 1.
Bear sightings continued; by Sept. 11, Sara MacIntyre reported one at the Beaverlodge Research Farm behind Old Towne Estates at about 8:30 p.m.
“It was close and followed us a little bit before following the treeline behind the houses,” MacIntyre said on social media.
“I must have heard it yesterday too – I could hear a branch or two breaking in the brush close in the same area but wasn’t sure.”
The bears aren’t only in town; Amie Greene reported a pair on Range Road 102.
“I think there are many out and about!” Greene said on Facebook.
On the same day, Kerstyn Smith said she saw a black bear on the corner of Township Road 712 and Range Road 105.
“This is not uncommon, as during this time of year, bears will start moving into a state of increased eating called hyperphagia to try to fatten up,” Fish and Wildlife Enforcement said in a statement to the News.
“As a result, bears will move around a lot in search of food. This is an important reminder that Alberta towns and cities may form part of a wildlife corridor, with many species travelling through at any given time, so it is important to take steps to avoid conflict with bears and other wildlife.”
Fish and Wildlife recommends residents to:
Store garbage in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers or buildings.
Clean up and remove possible attractants to avoid habituation of wildlife.
To properly store pet food and not leave it outside or in easy access for bears to obtain.
Clean barbecues and outdoor food use areas after use.
Remove gardens and fruit-bearing trees or shrubs that attract bears.
Bear sightings can be reported to Fish and Wildlife through the Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.