December 11, 2023

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Latest wildfires exterior Fort Chipewyan have pushed bears nearer to the group as they search for new meals sources. In Fort McMurray, the variety of bear-related incidents has gone up barely however continues to be inside regular expectation.

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Nonetheless, Wooden Buffalo RCMP and Alberta Fish and Wildlife are warning individuals throughout the Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo area to be conscious of bears.

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Chris Paish, Fish and Wildlife Officer in Fort McMurray, says there have been 118 incidents involving 152 bears thus far this yr. Final yr there have been 93 incidents involving 115 bears. Paish says that is inside regular parameters, however continues to be regarding.

The elevated bear encounters are regular at the moment of yr, he stated. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, Saskatoon berries crab apple timber and cherry timber are ripening and bears are foraging within the woods. Whereas current forest fires has made bears wander into Fort Chipewyan, Paish stated bears wander into Fort McMurray due to engaging meals choices.

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“It’s quite a bit simpler for a bear to tip over considered one of our black bins that we’ve unnoticed all week and seize a snack from there than it’s to attempt to decide blueberries which have the identical caloric worth,” stated Paish.

Family rubbish is a high lure for bears. Hen feeders—particularly close to inexperienced areas—are additionally engaging. Different scents that bears love embrace barbecues and drip pans. If berries or apples are falling from timber in Fort McMurray, that candy aroma from the fruit also can convey bears into Fort McMurray.

On trails and when working in outside places, it’s necessary to be conscious of bears. A bear injured a employee at Suncor’s base plant final Might. Alberta Fish and Wildlife says the bear was startled and felt it wanted to defend itself.

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“From April to November, we simply bought to verify we’re conscious that it’s bear season,” stated Paish. “When we’re on the path programs, simply to comprehend that you just’re strolling round bear nation.”

RCMP and Alberta Fish and Wildlife recommend individuals:

  • Take away attractants from round your house (pure meals like fruit and berry-producing shrubs and timber).
  • Safe rubbish, compost bins, hen feeders and pets.
  • Hold lawns mowed and yards weed-free, particularly dandelions.
  • Don’t feed pets exterior. Hold pet meals inside.
  • Hold barbecues clear and take drip pans inside.
  • Make a number of noise and carry bear spray when strolling on trails.
  • In the event you see cubs, remember the mom bear is probably going close by.

Report bear sightings that aren’t emergencies to Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 780-743-7200. If the sighting is after enterprise hours, name the Report A Poacher hotline at 1-800-642-3800.

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