There have been several sightings of Grizzly bears across the Elk Valley.
Local WildsafeBC co-ordinator Kathy Murray says a cold winter has affected natural food sources in higher elevations so bears are travelling to the valley bottom to eat.
Murray says Grizzlies have been spotted in West Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford recently.
In West Fernie, multiple bears were seen on Hand Ave and then in James White Park.
A grizzly was reported on Sparwood’s Matevic Rd. earlier in the week, and one on Elkford’s Niagara Crescent Wednesday.
Another grizz was seen by 7 Mile Regional Park outside of Elkdford.
Murray explains, so far, the bears have been reported to be feeding on greenery, which is natural food for them.
The conservationist says residents need to work together to keep it that way and prevent the animal from getting into garbage.
Murray adds once bears eat garbage it is almost impossible to make them wild again.
She says Spring is the best time to bear proof properties, so that the animals just pass through and move on to natural food sources.
The Elk Valley saw progress last year as only five bears had to be destroyed compared to over 30 in 2015.
Murray says if you do see a bear it is important to stop, stay calm and identify yourself as human before backing away slowly.
She says it’s always important to leave the animal an escape route.
The public is being asked to call the 24 hour Conservation Officer Hotline at 1-877-952-7277 if a bear is seen in a residential area.
– Josh Hoffman
– WildsafeBC Elk Valley Community Coordinator Kathy Murray
(Photo courtesy of Facebook//WildsafeBC Elk Valley)