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Posted: September 14, 2015

Hunter attacked by grizzly near Sparwood

A grizzly bear attack yesterday morning on a hunter by Grave Lake, northeast of Sparwood, resulted in a man suffering serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The hunter made his way to Sparwood Hospital on his own after the attack by a sow grizzly who was protecting her cub.

“The hunter was just out walking this morning, and was just in the wrong place and the wrong time. There appears to have been nothing that the hunter could have done any differently to have prevented this,” stated Cranbrook-based BC Conservation Officer Sergeant Cam Schley in a Global News report.

This was the third grizzly mauling in the past couple of weeks, following one near Cranbrook and another near Canal Flats. In all instances, the attack victims were badly injured but survived.

“People are going to have to be particularly vigilant over the next two months until these bears go in hibernation,” Schley warned.

The Grave Prairie area is currently closed to the public while conservation officers investigate and clean up an elk carcass in the area.

WildSafeBC Elk Valley remains extremely busy trying to educate the public about how to reduce encounters with bears and how to keep them from wandering into communities and yards.

A bear and two cubs were destroyed in James White Park in Fernie Saturday afternoon, two bears were destroyed in Sparwood; one on Michel Creek Road and one by the hospital, WildsafeBC Elk Valley reported this morning (Sept. 14).

“Garbage, apples, birdseed, pet food and other attractants accessible to bears on your property is like inviting someone to dinner then shooting them in the head! That is a harsh and bold statement but was how I felt on Saturday afternoon. While playing in a tennis tournament in James White Park in Fernie we saw a bear and two cubs wander through the park towards the airport subdivision and five minutes later a gunshot and then a cub howling, followed by two more gunshots,” WildSafeBC Elk Valley stated in a report.

“That is now a total of 12 bears destroyed in the past few weeks. Bears accessing garbage outside (pictured above), apples and chickens on properties, causing property damage, bluff charging people and deemed to pose a risk to human safety that have been trapped and destroyed on Mt. Proctor, James White Park and Beach Avenue in Fernie, Causeway Bay Hotel in Sparwood, rural properties on Dicken and Lower Elk Valley Road, Elkford and Elko.”

Removing bears doesn’t solve the problem; as long as the attractants are there expect more bears to come in after easy food until hibernation time (usually late November). Relocation seldom works. Bears don’t survive well in new habitat or make their way back to communities, WildSafeBC Elk Valley continued, adding, “Don’t blame the Conservation Officers who have the unfortunate task of destroying bears. We are to blame, if we have garbage out, apples or other attractants on our properties or know of someone who does and won’t take the time to help them or call the bylaw officer to help resolve the issue. Remove whatever might attract bears to your property and if it is safe to do so scare the bear off, bang pots and pans together, use an air horn or any loud noisemaker. A bear’s natural fear of humans is its ‘safety net.’”

WildSafeBC will be at the Elkford Fall registration on September 17, Jaffray Fall Fair on the 19th and Fernie Feast and Fest on the 20th.  Drop by to find out more about preventing human/wildlife conflict.

Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or #7277 on cell.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict visit


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