Bear Aware calls for reports of sightings

COLUMBIA VALLEY — With bear sightings in Invermere and Radium expected to increase as fall fruit season begins, local Bear Aware community co-ordinator Crystal Leonard is asking those who spot bruins in their neighbourhood to make sure sightings are reported.

COLUMBIA VALLEY — With bear sightings in Invermere and Radium expected to increase as fall fruit season begins, local Bear Aware community co-ordinator Crystal Leonard is asking those who spot bruins in their neighbourhood to make sure sightings are reported.

“We’re heading into fall, and bears are now preparing for hibernation,” Leonard explains. “They are trying to put on as much fat as possible — looking for calories.  If the berries and other high-calorie foods are scarce up the mountain, then bears will come to the valley bottom to look for other sources of food. “

Bears made at least two visits to Radium and Invermere in recent weeks  — but neither sighting was reported to conservation officers or Bear Aware. In both cases, the news reached the services through secondhand sources.

Leonard says reporting bear sightings helps conservation officers better monitor animal activity. In some situations, Bear Aware may also step in and work with residents to minimize bear attractants, especially when there are recurring visits.

To report a bear sighting or other wildlife activity, phone the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277. For more on recent bear activity in the valley, read Leonard’s column on page B6.

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