Warning signs have been put up after a jogger came across a black bear in Grande Prairie Monday morning. Mike Trepanier with Alberta Fish & Wildlife says the two crossed paths on a trail southwest of the South Bear Creek Ball Diamonds.
“It was an encounter on a blind corner and they kind of bumped into each other. This particular bear showed no defensive behaviours or predatory behaviours, just more indifference which is a sign that it is probably a little bit habituated to human presence.”
Wildlife officers checked the area out and don’t see a need to close the trail. However, Trepannier says they noticed a lot of natural food sources for animals.
“The berry crops are starting to emerge. The raspberries and strawberries are out; the Saskatoons are starting to ripen in the area, although there’s probably another week to 10 days before they’re completely ripened and we’ll see bears active in those areas because of natural food supplies.”
Trepannier says people are more likely to come across a bear on the trails early in the morning or later in the day when the temperature is cooler. He says anyone heading out should use caution.
“Carry some bear spray and make sure it’s accessible; have some sort of vest or clip on to the front so you can access your spray easily. Make some noise so you can warn wildlife that you’re on the trails are you’re coming towards them.”
Anyone who comes across a bear should avoid turning their back as they retreat and give the animal space. Signs have been put up at the trailheads on 68 Avenue and by the Aquatera water treatment plant.