WildSafeBC Community Coordinator Kathy Murray said that bears become more active towards the end of summer. (File photo)

WildSafeBC: Learn how to best respond to a bear encounter

Bears become more active in late summer as they prepare for winter

WildSafeBC is hosting free wildlife awareness and safe use of bear spray workshops in the Elk Valley and South Country in coming days.

WildSafeBC Community Coordinator Kathy Murray said that the important sessions were very timely given the season.

“As we approach the end of summer, bears become especially active in preparation for winter denning,” she said.

“During this transition of seasons, bears eat as much as possible to increase their body weight by approximately 30 per cent. This phase for bears is called hyperphagia, and is an important time for bears. Bears are opportunistic feeders, will travel great distances for food and will eat almost anything they can get their paws on. Like people, they will choose the path of least resistance, our trails and roads.

“As more people are hiking and biking, the potential for human/wildlife conflict and wildlife encounters is high. Do you know what to do if you encounter a bear and cubs on a trail or at home, do you have bear spray accessible and know how to use it?”

WildSafeBC’s sessions will be held in Sparwood, Fernie, Elkford and the South Country.

“Come along and learn how to respond to wildlife encounters and get hands on experience using inert bear spray,” said Murray. “The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented.”

WildSafeBC wildlife awareness and safe use of bear spray workshops

Sparwood: Thursday Sep. 3, 5:30 p.m. at Fiorentinos parking on Hwy. 3.

Fernie: Saturday Sep. 5, 11 a.m. outside the Information Centre on Hwy. 3.

Elkford: Thursday Sep. 17, 6 p.m. outside the Elkford Public Library.

South Country: date, time and venue to be confirmed.

The sessions are free of charge and all are welcome. To register, and for more information contact the WildSafeBC coordinator at fernie@wildsafebc.com.

READ MORE: Man left with serious injuries after attack by grizzly bear with cubs in B.C.

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