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Bear consciousness urged as sightings up barely throughout Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo

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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 folks 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 right now of yr, he mentioned. 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 mentioned bears wander into Fort McMurray due to enticing meals choices.

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“It’s so much simpler for a bear to tip over one in all our black bins that we’ve not noted all week and seize a snack from there than it’s to try to choose blueberries which have the identical caloric worth,” mentioned Paish.

Family rubbish is a prime lure for bears. Hen feeders—particularly close to inexperienced areas—are additionally enticing. Different scents that bears love embody 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 out of doors places, it’s vital to be conscious of bears. A bear injured a employee at Suncor’s base plant final Could. 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 acquired to ensure we’re conscious that it’s bear season,” mentioned Paish. “When we’re on the path methods, simply to comprehend that you simply’re strolling round bear nation.”

RCMP and Alberta Fish and Wildlife recommend folks:

  • Take away attractants from round your property (pure meals like fruit and berry-producing shrubs and timber).
  • Safe rubbish, compost bins, fowl feeders and pets.
  • Preserve lawns mowed and yards weed-free, particularly dandelions.
  • Don’t feed pets exterior. Preserve pet meals inside.
  • Preserve barbecues clear and take drip pans inside.
  • Make numerous noise and carry bear spray when strolling on trails.
  • When 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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