A fatality in the Water Valley area appears to be the result of a bear attack, according to information from Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.
On Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at approximately 7 p.m., local RCMP notified Alberta Fish and Wildlife of the incident on private land southwest of Water Valley. The individual had gone for a walk on their property and was found deceased on one of their trails.
Fish and Wildlife officers continue to investigate the incident and have put up traps in the area. Officers are still determining the identity of the bear, but a grizzly bear and a cub were seen in the vicinity of the incident, with the sow exhibiting aggressive behaviour.
Wildlife officers are reminding residents if they encounter a bear in the wild to avoid conflict:
- Do not run. Stay calm. Stay with your group and keep children close. Assess the situation.
- Look around. If you see cubs or an animal carcass, the bear will want to protect them. If you see either, back away from them.
- Prepare to use your bear spray.
- Back out. Leave the area the way that you came. Keep your eye on the bear without staring at it aggressively.
- Watch for a place to hide. As you back away, seek out a place of safety, such as a car or building.
- Speak to the bear in a soft, low voice. Let the bear know that you are human and not a prey animal.
- Use your noisemaker and prepare to defend yourself with bear spray.
Bears coming into residential areas to feed on unnatural food sources is a public safety risk because they are easily habituated and may defend the food source.
- Residents should store garbage in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers or buildings.
- Any possible attractants should be cleaned up and removed as soon as possible, if not immediately, to avoid habituation of bears and other wildlife.
- Pet food should never be left outside or stored in areas accessible to bears.
- Residents should clean barbecues and outdoor eating areas after use.
- Gardens and fruit-bearing trees or shrubs also attract bears and should be properly maintained or removed.
For additional tips on how to prevent an encounter in bear country, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/bears-and-outdoor-recreation.aspx.
People can call the 24 hours, seven days a week Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 to report any bear sightings or encounters.
Stay up to date on bear and wildlife sightings in the Mountain View County and Clearwater County areas at http://www.mountainviewbearsmart.com/