Bear Report - May 3, 2019

(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)
For the period: April 26 to May 3, 2019


Wildlife have been in the news this past week! A black bear has been relocated after accessing garbage and bird-feed in a backyard in the Peaks of Grassi area. It has been confirmed that this is the same black bear that was relocated from this neighbourhood last summer. You can read more about this here.

There have also been reports of at least two other black bears travelling through residential areas on the south side of Canmore. This serves as a reminder for residents to keep their yards free of wildlife attractants such as garbage, recycling, bird-feeders, pet food and fruit bearing trees and shrubs. Once a bear gets an unnatural food reward such as garbage or bird-feed, it will keep coming back to the same place looking for that food (as is evident from the relocated black bear mentioned above). For those who are not aware, the Town of Canmore has a Wildlife Attractant Bylaw. Residents can be fined for having wildlife attractants accumulate to the point that they attract dangerous wildlife to their yards. Click here for more information and to download a copy of the bylaw.

There continues to be grizzly bear activity in the Kananaskis Valley and reports of black bears in other areas in the Bow Valley in the past week.

At this time of the year, bears are emerging from their dens hungry, and are often found in the valley bottoms looking for foods such as fresh shoots, roots, bulbs, and dandelions. This can result in an increased chance of encounters with humans as we too spend most of our time in the valley bottoms!

Photo by Jamin Mulvey

Seven elk were killed on the Trans Canada Highway near Canmore last weekend. More details can be found in this article from the RM Outlook. The ditches will be greening up along the highways in the Bow Valley very shortly and that is going to draw all kinds of wildlife into the ditches looking for green grass. Motorists need to obey speed limits and constantly scan for wildlife feeding in the ditches along roadways. If you see one animal be prepared to see more and adjust your speed accordingly. We see a high mortality rate of wildlife from vehicles in the Bow Valley.

If you must stop on roadways to view wildlife, make sure it is done in a safe manner. Take your picture from a distance and move on. Do not linger at the location and never exit your vehicle to take a picture. Never feed wildlife or encourage wildlife to come closer to your vehicle.

You can reduce the risk of bear encounters if you remain vigilant when recreating outdoors! Make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence, travel in groups, keep dogs on leash, be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for signs of wildlife such as tracks and scat), and carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it. Bear spray should be carried while walking on well travelled trails, including the trails in and around town.


Bear Closure - Sarrail Creek drainage below Mount Foch due to grizzly bear denning in the area disturbed by human presence. This closure does not affect the Rawson Lake area.

*Bears are not only found in closure or warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Here is a list of some Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for anyone visiting the Bow Valley, Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real-time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.


This past Saturday was our Volunteer Wildlife Ambassador Training Day at the Canmore Opera House! Keep an eye out for these terrific volunteers at community events and as they head out on the trails this summer to teach responsible recreation practices to diverse outdoor enthusiasts in the Bow Valley and K-Country. Many thanks to Panago Pizza and Beamer's Coffee Bar for providing delicious pizza and coffee for our volunteers, and for acknowledging the importance of our volunteers giving back to the community!