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Government, Nature

Bear Attacks

Bear Attacks

August is an active month for bears – help prevent encounters

bear growlingEdmonton… Albertans are urged to help reduce encounters with bears. August is a busy time for the animals, as they roam for food sources like wild berries. The recent warm weather means more campers, backyard barbeques and ripening fruit trees, which increase risk of bear encounters.

Bears are currently active, traveling along green areas and river valleys as they search for wild berries and other natural food sources. As bears move, they may be attracted to garbage, fruit trees, barbeques or pet food in backyards.

For those living in bear country:

  • use bear-resistant containers for your garbage;
  • clean barbeques after each use and store in a garage or shed;
  • ensure bird feeders are taken down until October;
  • bring pet food and dishes inside overnight; and
  • when making landscaping decisions, avoid fruit trees or shrubs that produce berries. If you do have these trees, pick fruit regularly and don’t leave fruit on the ground.

For those camping, hiking or biking in bear country:

  • pack out all garbage in airtight containers and dispose of it at home or in a bear-proof bin;
  • do not burn or bury scrap food;
  • keep food, toiletries, pet food and other attractants stored in airtight containers and out of the reach of bears – never in your tent;
  • do not sleep in the same clothes you wore while cooking;
  • if you hike with a dog, keep it on a leash; and
  • mountain bikers should avoid bear habitat at this time of year. If you are in bear habitat, be cautious and avoid trails with thick bush, tight corners and hills.

When in bear habitat, always carry bear spray and know how to use it. To learn more about proper use and backcountry camping strategies, visit youtube.com and search “Alberta” and “BearSmart.”

If a bear is in your yard or community or if a bear is a safety concern, call the nearest Fish and Wildlife office (310-0000 toll-free) or the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.

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