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Hibernation is a way for bears to conserve energy in the winter when food is in low supply. However, most bears do not go into hibernation in warm climates where enough food is available year-round. During a period called hyperphagia, bears prepare for hibernation by eating three times as much in the fall as they do in the summer. In the fall, bears need up to 20,000 calories per day (about 300 apples) to gain enough weight to get through the winter. In some areas, food-conditioned bears that are used to accessing human food, such as garbage, may not hibernate at all.

Most black bears and grizzly bears den for four to six months in the winter, from November or December until March or April. Bear cubs are born in the den during this period. However, bears do not go into true hibernation because their body temperature and metabolic rate do not decrease as much as in other hibernating species and they may wake up relatively easily during their winter sleep. In order to survive without eating, bears must slow down their physiological systems and live off their fat reserves. They actually enter a state of dormancy where:

• their heart rate drops from 40-70 beats per minute to 8-12 beats per minute;
• their metabolism slows down by half and
• their body temperatures by drop by 3-7 degrees Celsius.

While bears do not eat or drink during this time, they do not urinate or defecate either. Such a build-up of urea would cause humans to die. Bears however, have a unique ability to recycle the build-up or urea, using its constituents to manufacture new proteins. During hibernation, the bear’s body essentially enters a mode of conservation, efficiency and recycling.
grinder_emerging
Finally, the WildSafeBC Fernie and Elk Valley Programs wish to thank program sponsors; The British Columbia Conservation Foundation, Ministry of Environment, Columbia Basin Trust, City of Fernie, District of Elkford and the R.D.E.K. for their ongoing financial support and everyone who has made an effort to prevent wildlife/human conflict in the Elk Valley and South Country.

Bears and Halloween

Parents, remember that bears are most active after dark, make sure kids travel in groups in well-lit areas and are bears and pumpkinsaccompanied by an adult. Please remember to dispose of pumpkins responsibly after Halloween. Recent bear sightings reported on Parkland Terrace and on 4th Avenue by the LeRoux Mansion. The Conservation Officer Service and WildSafeBC will be driving around Fernie tonight to keep public informed about bear sightings.

If you encounter a Bear:
* STAY CALM
* DO NOT RUN
* Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side)
* Use your voice in a calm, assertive manner.
* Back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route
* Never turn your back on wildlife
* Do not approach or feed wildlife

Please report wildlife sightings to the Conservation Officer Service reporting line on 1-877-952-7277

Monday October 28. A bears’ home range can be as large as 2500 sq kilometres. As seasons change, they follow their noses to find places where there’s lots of food. When natural food is scarce, garbage, fruit trees and birdfeeders can become irresistible. Please continue doing your part this fall to keep your neighbourhood “bear free” by securing garbage, cleaning up fruit trees and helping your neighbours do the same.

Wildlife sightings update

Fernie
Bears sightings reported on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th avenues, Fernie Mobile Home Park, Elkview Drive, 11 th avenue in the Annex, Parkland Terrace and Canyon Trail. A cougar was reported in the wooded area by a parking lot at F.A.R.
Elkford
Bear sightings reported on Ash, Needles and Balmer Crescents and Alpine Drive
Sparwood
Bear sightings reported at Lodgepole Place.

The Conservation Officer Service, Natural Resource Officers, Bylaw Services and WildSafeBC will be working together and going door to door visiting areas of high human/wildlife conflict in Fernie between 2 and 7 pm today. The objective of the exercise is to educate the community about the importance of bear proofing properties and the legislations in place addressing the provision of food (by intent or neglect) to dangerous wildlife. This exercise was originally scheduled to take place in June but was postponed due to the flood.
Bear_Garbage_Can
For more information on wildlife safety visit http://www.wildsafebc.com

Saturday Oct 26. Trail users, there is an animal carcass on Dem Bones trail. The carcass has been there since last Sunday but may still potentially attract dangerous wildlife. For your own safety keep out of the area.

For more information on wildlife safety visit http://www.wildsafebc.com

On Monday October 28th The Conservation Officer Service, Natural Resource Officers, Bylaw Services and WildSafeBC will be working together and going door to door visiting areas of high human/wildlife conflict in Fernie between 2 and 7 pm. The objective of the exercise is to educate the community about the importance of bear proofing properties and the legislations in place addressing the provision of food (by intent or neglect) to dangerous wildlife. This exercise was originally scheduled to take place in June but was postponed due to the flood.trish and kathy

Tuesday October 22. A sow and her 3 cubs have been lured into downtown Fernie by unsecured garbage, fruit trees and other attractants. This family of bears was in Ridgemont, adjacent to the wilderness but now have found their way into town just a few blocks away from the elementary school. The bears have sought refuge in a large tree but it is likely they will come down after dark.

Keep your family safe by bear proofing your property and help your neighbours to do the same. Everyone will benefit, including the bears. If you see the bears do not approach them and give them space.
* STAY CALM
* DO NOT RUN
* Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side)
* Use your voice in a calm, assertive manner.
* Back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route
* Never turn your back on wildlife
* Do not approach or feed wildlife

For more information on wildlife safety go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

Monday October 21. There have been reports of bears accessing garbage in backyards, carports, on decks and in vehicles throughout the Elk Valley and South Country. As a result traps had to be set in the Annex in Fernie and in Hosmer. Removing bears will not resolve human/wildlife conflict. It just opens a niche for another bears to move in.
Locking up garbage and bear proofing properties is a proven method of reducing the number of bears destroyed and will result in a cleaner and safer community. If you do not have a shed or garage, excess garbage can be taken to the bear resistant dumpsters at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce 24/7 or to the transfer station.
Fernie
The trail between the Ridgemont condo’s and Overwaitea is closed until further notice. Please respect this closure, keep our bears wild and our community safe. Black bear and 3 cubs reported throughout Ridgemont. Bear sightings also reported in West Fernie, on the dike trail by Coal Creek Bridge, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th ave in the Annex and in the park. There have been no signs of the injured grizzly or her cubs in Mt Fernie Provincial Park. The closure is no longer in effect however please be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife and take due care and responsibility.

Sparwood
Bear sightings reported on Ponderosa Drive and Cougar sightings reported on Pine Avenue.

For more information on keeping wildlife wild and communities’ safe go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

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