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A black bear and 2 cubs lured into the community by fruit trees and garbage that have come into conflict with people had to be destroyed on Pine Avenue by the elementary school in Sparwoodbear eating apples. Let’s not blame the Conservation Officers who have to pull the trigger. We, the people who chose to live in bear country are responsible. Those of us who are mindful of their own garbage and backyard attractants are not off the hook. You could help further by inspiring your friends and neighbours to do the same

It is sadly not possible to relocate all bears that come into conflict with people. Relocation seldom works with bears as they often return to their home territory or become “problem” animals in other communities. In addition, trans located wildlife often fail to adapt to their new habitat and, as a result, may starve to death or be killed by animals that already occupy the area.

If you see a bear in your yard, slowly retreat into the house and ensure the house is secure. Once the bear has left, ensure that anything that may have attracted it is removed. Lock up the garbage, clean up the fruit trees, clean the BBQ and bears will move on back to the wilderness for natural food. The end result will be a safer and cleaner community for wildlife and people.

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

Monday September 29. A cougar sighting was reported by the community eco garden. Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay.

Feed pets indoors or if fed outdoors, bring in any uneaten food as pet food may attract cougars. Keep your pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and, in turn, become prey themselves.

Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators such as cougars into residential neighborhoods. As well, urban deer present their own set of problems to you and your neighbors. Deer are one of the cougar’s primary food sources. If deer are abundant in an area, especially a wintering area, then there is a good possibility to find cougars using the same area.

Bears have been seen in backyards during the middle of the day on Mt Minton, on the Frisbee golf course, dike trail in the Annex Park, 4th Avenue, Castle Mountain Drive and Hand Avenue in Fernie.

Sparwood
A black bear and 2 cubs have been feeding on apple trees and garbage on Pine Avenue by the elementary school.
If you see a bear in your yard, slowly retreat into the house and ensure the house is secure. Once the bear has left, ensure that anything that may have attracted it is removed.
cougar kit by meg2
For more information on wildlife safety go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

Unmanaged fruit trees and unsecured garbage are the root cause of wildlife/human conflict. Wildsights’ Apple Capture Project has an apple press available to press apples into juice. If you can’t keep up with your apple tree, share the harvest! List your fruit trees on the apple share to connect with someone who can make use of your fruit. Go to http://www.ecogarden.ca/node/1693 for details and to sign up.

Owning a fruit tree in bear country is a big responsibility. Pick fruit daily as it ripens or pick it before it ripens if you don’t intend on using it and don’t allow fruit to accumulate on the ground. Pruning your fruit trees will result in a better and more manageable quality of fruit. Consult your local arborist.

Thank you for helping keep wildlife wild and our community safe.apple prees casy n ayla

Wildlife update September 20. A cougar was seen at the top of cemetery bypass trail by mountain bikers.
Wildlife sightings summary for the Elk Valley

Fernie
Bear sightings reported on 3 rd street, by the boat launch, Mt Proccougar kit by meg2tor, Mt Trinity, Elkview Place, Mt Minton and by the Husky gas station. Bears seen on trails in James White Park, Uprooted, Ridgemont and Mt Fernie Provincial Park.

Sparwood
Bear sightings on Valley View Drive, Ponderosa Drive and Pine Avenue.

South Country
Bear sightings on North Tie Lake road and at the Mai Tai campground

We live in wildlife habitat. Be aware of your surroundings and respectful of the environment. If you observed dangerous wildlife
 accessing garbage or other human supplied food sources
 that cannot be scared off
 a bear, cougar or wolf seen in an urban area
Call the Ministry of Environment 24-hour hotline on 1-877-952-7277. This allows officers to identify current hot spot locations and work with both residents and wildlife to encourage use of natural habitats and food sources before wildlife becomes habituated and/or a safety concern.

For more information on keeping communities’ safe and wildlife wild please visit http://www.wildsafebc.com, or follow us on Facebook.

bear eating applesJoin us for our WildsafeBC/Wildsight Open House Event on Saturday September 20 at the Wildsight Office on 891 2nd Avenue in Fernie between 10 and 2. The Electric fencing workshop will be at 11. Workshop leader Gillian Sanders has helped to install more than 90 electric fences to successfully protect livestock and/or fruit trees from both black and grizzly bears. Correctly installed and maintained electric fencing provides a cost-effective and easy solution to prevent or stop bear conflicts. This workshop will discuss different e-fencing designs for permanent and temporary fences that can be adapted to your particular needs.

Also happening, apple pressing (bring your own elk valley apples and containers for freshly pressed juice), wildlife safety talk at 1:15, get hands on experience using inert bear spray, food preservation, worm composting and much more…Entry is by donation.

For more information contact fernie@wildsafebc.com

Join us on Saturday September 20th for our WildsafeBC/Wildsight Open House Event between 10 and 2 at the Wildsight Office on 891 2nd Avenue in Fernie. The Wildlife Safety talk will be at 1:15. Come and get hands on experience using inert bear spray. Also happening, Electric Fencing workshop at 11am, apple pressing (bring your Elk Valley apples and containers for your own fresh apple juice), worm composting demo’s, food preservation and much more. Entry is by donation.

What is bear spray and how does it work?

There’s no substitute for appropriate conduct in bear country. Bear spray should only be relied on as a last resort. Most human- bear encounters are typically resolved without the use of bear spray. Ensure your bear spray is not expired, read manufacturer’s instructions prior to use, carry it in a holster on your belt ready to use, not in the bottom of your backpack!

What is it?

Oleoresin capsicum (abbreviated O.C.) is the oily mixture produced when the burning compounds that naturally occur in hot red peppers are extracted. Oleoresin is the oily extract obtained from a plant. Capsicum is the Latin word for pepper and is the taxonomic designation for all hot peppers used for seasoning. Capsicum literally means “pepper extract from oil”. When habaneras (fiery hot), jalapenos (moderately hot), or even bell peppers (not hot) are finely ground, this pepper slurry is mixed with vegetable oil to make oleoresin capsicum.
O.C. is comprised primarily of:
• carotenoids: the red pigments found in many vegetables
• vegetable oils
• Capsaicinoids: the compounds responsible for pungency. There are over 25 capsaicinoid compounds found in O.C. but only three are considered active ingredients. These three are responsible for the “heat” or pungency of the solution.
How does bear spray deter bears?
Capsaicin elicits an intense burning sensation when it comes in contact with skin. It causes pain receptors to send the same impulses to the brain as those generated by burning heat. What makes bear pepper spray an effective defence weapon is the effect it has on mucous membranes—primarily those of the eyes, nose and lungs. Capsaicin immediately causes these tissues to swell causing nearly total, yet temporary loss of sight and severe restriction of breathing. That’s why bear spray has to hit the eyes and nose of a bear to be optimally effective. It’s important that bear spray be highly aerosolized; otherwise there won’t be sufficient force to push the spray into the lungs.
Where can I buy Bear Spray?

It is available at most sport shops. Check the expiry date before purchasing. All approved bear pepper sprays have a shelf life of 3 years. Once the product has expired, do not carry it in the wilderness as a bear deterrent. Use the spray for practice to become familiar with the color, sound, pressure and reaching distance of the spray.

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

Tuesday September 16. A large cougar was seen on the road by campers at Mt Fernie Provincial Park last night. Grizzly and black bear sightings also reported throughout the trail network and in Elk Valley Communities.
cougar kit by meg2
If you encounter a Cougar:
 STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
 Pick up small children and small pets
 LET the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
 Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
 Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
 Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
 If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack

Call the Conservation Officer Hotline to report any incidents 1-877-952-7277 *7277 on cell
To learn more about wildlife safety drop by our Open House event this Saturday from 10 till 2 at the Wildsight Office, 891 2nd avenue, wildlife safety, apple pressing, composting, electric fencing and much more…

For more details contact Fernie@wildsafebc.com

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