Steve Hubrecht/Columbia Valley Pioneer
Local conservation officers relocated a female grizzly bear last weekend after the large omnivore had been hanging around Columere Park and Fairmont Hot Springs in recent weeks.
The young bear had been living in the lower part of the valley for most of late summer and into the fall and in the two weeks before the bear was moved, she had been spending a lot of time in close proximity to people in those communities, said Invermere conservation officer Greg Kruger.
“She was acting like a normal bear; there was never any aggressive behaviour. We decided to move her before any human-bear conflict occurred,” said Mr. Kruger. “It was too big of a public safety risk.”
The bear had been eating fruit and Kokanee salmon near Coy’s Par Three Golf Course and at the Riverside Golf Course at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
Conservation officers set a bear trap in the middle of last week, caught the bear on Friday, September 27th and moved her up into the higher parts of the Brewer Creek drainage on Saturday, September 28th. They put a telemetry radio collar and ear tags on the bear before releasing her.
“We hope she hibernates up in the drainage and that when she wakes up in the spring she picks a high (elevation) habitat next year,” said Mr. Kruger.
If the bear does come back into the lower parts of the valley, conservation officers will be able to track her movements using the radio collar, he added.