(File photo)

(File photo)

WildSafeBC: How to be cougar and bear safe while using the area’s trails

Outdoor enthusiasts of Cranbrook and Kimberley and their surrounding areas are fortunate to have access to countless trails for hiking, biking and exploring the natural beauty of the Kootenays.

Wildlife, however, will also often use these same trails to get from place to place, and WildSafeBC have tips for staying safe and minimizing conflict with the area’s animals like cougars and bears.

The organization recently posted a variety of resources on their website including a 30-minute video entitled “Staying Safe in Bear Country,” which is a good place to start.

Some basic tips include carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it — keep it in an easily accessible holster, rather than in your backpack.

While on trails, its important to be aware. Look for fresh bear scat and claw marks on trees, and be aware if you’re in an area that contains bear food sources like berries. If biking, slow down around blind turns and call out ahead.

Wearing headphones isn’t recommended and it’s important to make a lot of noise as you move through the trails, even just by calling out loudly sporadically.

Keep your dog under control or leave it at home to avoid conflict between it and a bear.

WildSafe also has tips for if you do happen to encounter a bear:

  • Stop, stay calm, and back away slowly without turning your back on the animal.
  • Do not yell or run as this can trigger and attack.
  • Bring children close and group together.
  • If the animal continues towards you then move off the trail and let the animal pass.
  • If the bear continues to approach, then you must hold your ground and become more aggressive. Speak to the bear in a loud and low voice. If you have bear spray, prepare to deploy it. Make yourself appear large and if with others then group together.
  • A bear defending a cub, food source or its personal space my charge and then retreat. Back away and let the bear know you are not a threat.
  • While rare, a predatory black bear will approach with confidence and determination. In these attacks always fight back

If you should happen upon a cougar, keep these potentially life-saving tips in mind:

  • Stop, stay calm. Never run or turn your back as this can trigger an attack.
  • Pick up small children and dogs; for older children place them in front of you so you can control their actions and not trip on them.
  • Back away slowly and seek shelter.
  • If the cougar follows or shows aggression, then you must respond aggressively. Make yourself look big and maintain eye contact. Yell with a low and loud voice.
  • If a cougar attacks, always fight back. Deploy your bear spray or use rocks and sticks. Focus on the facial area. Convince the cougar that you are not easy prey.

Always make sure to report any conflicts with wildlife to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. You are also encouraged to report conflict with wildlife other than bears, cougars or wolves using WildSafeBC’s online Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), found at www.wildsafebc.com/warp



paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read