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The Elk Valley and South Country is prime wildlife habitat. Be prepared to encounter wildlife anytime in our communities and recreational areas.

Recent reported wildlife sightings

Fernie

Bear sightings reported by mountain bikers at the top of Gorby and Brokeback Trails in Mount Fernie Provincial Park.

Sparwood

Cougar sightings were reported late at night on Highway 43 north of Sparwood by the Elk Valley Mobile Home Park.

Elko

Black bear sightings reported in the town of Elko.

The Safest Wildlife Encounter is One Prevented

Avoid surprise encounters: Call out, clap your hands, sing or talk loudly

Look for signs of wildlife: Tracks, droppings, diggings, claw-marked trees, torn-up logs, overturned rocks and food caches.

Travel smart: Stay in groups, stay on marked trails and travel in daylight.

Do not litter: Pack it in, pack it out.

Carry bear spray:  Keep it accessible and know how to use it as your last best defense.

Dog owners:  keep your dogs under control.  They may provoke defensive behavior in wildlife.

Cyclists:  speed and quietness put you at risk for sudden encounters.  Slow down and make noise.

Never Approach or Feed Wildlife

Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or #7277 on cell.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com

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Friday May 22.  Another cougar sighting was reported a few nights ago north of Sparwood on Highway 43 by the Elk Valley mobile home park.  A mountain biker saw two bears at the top of Gorby traill in Mt Fernie Provincial Park and a bear was seen in Elko.

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

A black bear and her cubs have been reported by mountain bikers on the lower Montane Trail in Fernie this past weekend.

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Your best defense is to be aware of wildlife in the area.

 Make Noise to avoid a surprise encounter (use your   human voice, clap hands or two rocks together – especially near running water or in dense brush. Carry bear spray, keep it accessible and know how to use it as your last best defence. Walk in groups and keep dogs leashed and/or under voice control.

     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

For more information on wildlife safety visit http://www.wildsafebc.comIMG_4058

Two separate incidents of dogs attacked by cougars were reported at the North end of Sparwood by Wilson Creek last week. The cougar was shot by a resident.  Cougar sightings have also been reported in Hosmer and Sparwood Heights.

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. Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.

Feed pets indoors and keep 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.

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

Never Approach or Feed Wildlife

Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or #7277 on cell.

cougar kit by meg2

WildSafeBC Program Coordinators throughout the province are back to work with residents and visitors to help ensure that wildlife remains wild and communities’ safe.

There have been no reported recent wildlife sightings in Elk Valley and South Country communities. Spring is the best opportunity we have to prevent bears from learning bad habits by ensuring that our properties are free of attractants (unsecured garbage, dirty BBQ’s and bird feeders).   If bears get the upper hand early by feeding in our back yards, it will be hard to make them wild again.

To learn more about preventing wildlife /human conflict come and visit our booth at various community events, contact us at fernie@wildsafebc.com if you would like a presentation for your school or community group.

For up to date information on wildlife sightings and reports in communities and recreational areas visit our Facebook page WildSafeBC Elk Valleybear in tree house

Bear_Garbage_CanThe natural curiosity of bears brings them into our communities. While exploring they become ensnared in a web of garbage and other attractants.   Exposure to people causes bears to lose their natural fear of humans. Bears that have been fed learn that people equal food. These bears may become aggressive, expecting food each time they see or smell people. A bear had to be destroyed by the Coal Creek boat launch last week in Fernie because of concerns for human safety. The removal of this bear does not resolve our problem, it simply opens up a niche for another bear to move in.

Here is how you can help prevent the needless destruction of bears.

Keep your garbage stored in a shed, garage or in your house until collection day or take a trip to the transfer station on highway 3 to dispose of it responsibly. Clean your BBQ after each use, keep pet food indoors and manage all other attractants responsibly.

Help your family, friends and neighbours do the same. We have many new residents who are new to bear country and seniors who might need help. The end result will be a cleaner and safer community and prevent the needless destruction of wildlife.

In BC it is an offence to provide food to dangerous wildlife. You can call your local bylaw officer or contact the Conservation Officer Service on 1-877-952-7277 to report violations. If you need assistance you can contact your local WildSafeBc Community Coordinator.

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

Bears will travel great distances in search of newly greening plant growth, carcasses melting out of the snow, or other potential food sources. Spring (or late winter in this case), is the best opportunity we have to prevent bears from learning bad habits by ensuring that our properties are free of attractants (unsecured garbage, dirty BBQ’s and bird feeders).   If bears get the upper hand early by feeding in our back yards, it will be hard to make them wild again.

There have been no reported sightings of bears in Elk Valley and South Country communities however let’s work together to be proactive. Here is what we can all do to ensure that our wildlife stays wild and our community remains safe.

  • Put garbage out on the day of collection and keep it stored indoors (garage, shed or basement) between collection days or take it to the transfer station.
  • Bring in bird feeders.-feed pets indoors
  • Keep barbeques clean and odor free and secure any other attractants.

Thank you for sharing this information with your neighbours, families, friends and visitors. The end result will be a cleaner and safer community for both wildlife and people.

For more information on preventing wildlife human conflict visit http://www.wildsafebc.com

bear in tree house

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