Grizzly Bear Refuge Report

IMG_6868

Summer 2016 Refuge Report

It’s bear season! Time to start practicing your bear aware skills, here’s a friendly reminder of do’s and don’ts from every ones favorite Grizzly Bear, Boo!

Whether you live or play in bear country, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your safety, the safety of bears and to promote a peaceful coexistence.
Black bears and Grizzlies are omnivores; their diets consist of 80% vegetation and only 20% protein on a daily basis. Bears in the wild have been known to spend up to 18hours a day foraging and prefer their natural foods over human sources foods or garbage. Bears however, are opportunist eaters which mean if an easy meal can be obtained, they’ll go for it. This is why it is critical for humans to manage waste and attractants, as it promotes harmonious living between species.

When camping, never store food items or toiletries in your tent. This includes toothpastes, deodorant and perfumes/colognes. DO keep your food 100 yards away from your tent in an air tight container or dry sack. String it at least 4 meters high between 2 trees so a bear has minimal opportunity to retrieve it. Your fire should also be 100 yards from your tent and wind (if possible) from all food sources & smells. Do not leave any garbage behind, pack out everything you brought with you, including your waste! Keep dogs on leash while camping/hiking in bear country. Dogs can invoke aggressive behavior from wildlife. While moving through bear country whether hiking or biking, make human sounds by talking, singing, whistling, shouting, and clapping. Always have bear spray with you and easily accessible, not tucked away in our pack.

At home, don’t leave pet food out on your porch. Take bird feeders down in the early hours of the morning and evenings. Burn off all excess food on your BBQ and clean when cooled. Cover and put away if possible or use a ratchet, strap to keep closed, and secured to a building or fence. Garbage and recycle should always be stored in an animal proof bin. If your town does not supply you with one, there are many options for you to ensure bears cannot get at your bin. Keeping containers in a locked shed or garage, ratchet straps work effectively or even installing locking hasp clasps will help ensure your garbage remains in its bin until pick up day and not strung across the lawns of your neighbors.

Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear, let’s all do our part to ensure the safety of both humans and wildlife.
Play safe and be bear smart!

For more information on bears or Boo specifically.  Follow Boo on Facebook @ Boo Grizzly

From the Grizzly Bear Staff at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, have a safe and happy summer season!
Nicole Gangnon, Grizzly Bear Refuge Wildlife Ranger