On Monday, October 9, Banff National Park issued a bear warning for the Town of Banff. The warning includes all areas surrounding and including the Town of Banff.

"Special caution is recommended when travelling in this area due to the following bear-related situation."

According to the warning, officials have said that multiple black and grizzly bears are frequenting the area.

Officials are reminding those travelling in the area that one should be prepared to encounter a bear at any time in and around this area.

Last month, the Town of Banff issued a statement after both a black bear and grizzly bear were found to be wandering in the town, attracted by fruit trees, with reports of the grizzly, bluff charging people.

There is also a closure notice issued for the Forested Area east of the Fenlands Recreation Centre, due to a grizzly bear feeding on a mule deer carcass in the area. 

According to Parks Canada, the forested area immediately adjacent to the Fenlands Recreation Centre and bounded by Norquay Road to the west, the Trans-Canada Highway to the north, the Canadian Pacific Railway Line to the south and the Canadian Pacific Railway “Y” to the east is under the closure notice.

Banff area closure (supplied)Banff area closure (supplied)

The warning and area closure come days after Alberta Parks officials issued two bear warnings after there were surprise grizzly bear encounters in provincial parks.

Last week, provincial parks officials stated that one surprise encounter occurred in the West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area, which resulted in a bluff charge.

The bear warning for West Bragg Creek and the surrounding areas continues to be in place.

The second surprise encounter, also with a grizzly bear occurred east of Kananaskis Golf Course on a construction site on Highway 40, also resulting in a bear warning, impacting the Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area as well as the Kananaskis Golf Course. 

The warnings come after an older female grizzly bear killed a couple in Banff National Park in late September. The area where the couple was killed, the Red Deer and Panther valleys continues to be closed. 

Officials are reminding anyone who is either hiking or visiting both provincial and National Parks to remember safe practices with regard to bears. Those practices include: 

  • Securing all wildlife attractants, including fruit in and on the ground below, fruiting trees.
  • All food and garbage must be disposed of in a proper receptacle.
  • Pay attention to bears when travelling in this area.
  • Make noise when hiking and cycling.
  • Keep pets on leash and a close eye on children.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Report all bear sightings immediately to the Visitor Centre or Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1470

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