Bear and cub spotted on 4th avenue downtown Fernie

Also, a Fernie business has been issued a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order

A brown colored black bear and her cub have been reported on 4th avenue from the dike trail by Dogwood Park all the way to 10 th street on Sunday and early Monday morning.

Wildsafe encourages locals to keep garbage, pet food and all other attractants tucked away.

“If you see the bears, stop, stay calm and back away slowly,” said Wildsafe’s Kathy Murray.

“If you see a bear in your yard, slowly retreat into the house and ensure your home is secure. Call the Conservation Officer hotline on 1-877-952-7277. Once the bear has left ensure that whatever has attracted the bear is removed.”

A grizzly bear was reported following mountain bikers on the Trans Canada Trail, also known as the Elk Valley Trail, last week. The grizzly was spotted on the section that starts by the dead end above the Montane Hut and goes towards Cokato Road.

Bears are known to choose the path of least resistance, which includes trails and roads.

In other news, a Fernie business has been issued a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order. In B.C., it is an offense to provide food to wildlife by intent or neglect. Under the Wildlife Act, Conservation Officers are allowed to issue a $230 ticket or notice for a court appearance to residents who do not secure attractants. Residents and businesses that intentionally leave out items that attract dangerous wildlife could also be issued a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order. Failure to comply with an order carries a $575 fine.

The City of Fernie Waste Regulation Bylaw #1845 states that commercial dumpsters must be closed at all times and secured at the end of each business day. WildSafeBC and Bylaw Services will be visiting businesses to ensure that garbage is not accessible to wildlife. Recycling is also a wildlife attractant. Bears are attracted to the odor and the recycling bags themselves are a visual cue for bears to come and investigate.

Keeping garbage indoors away from wildlife is the best way to keep wildlife wild, communities safe and prevent the needless destruction of bears. We are hopeful that businesses and districts will lead by example and thanks to residents for doing their part and helping family; friends and neighbours do the same.

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