Bear Sightings Starting Early in Fort McMurray, One Already Needing To Be Euthanized

There still may be snow on the ground but that’s not stopping a few bears from roaming in from the woods.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife have already responded to multiple sightings in the Fort McMurray area with one bear needing to be euthanized.

Last year, there were 248 reports with 80 being caught and 49 having to be put down.

Officer Tyler Murphy tells Mix News this is unusually early, though the winter was much milder than year’s past.

He says as sightings start to increase people should really invest in some bear spray.

“You wouldn’t think of bear spray in the winter but it’s good to be carrying that all year because not only is it good on bears but you could also use it for something like a coyote, fox, or cougar.”

Other tips include ensuring all garbage is maintained properly and pet food is fully secure.

Murphy also believes those who take part in the RMWB’s backyard hen pilot project may see some unwanted guests if they don’t follow proper measures.

This means cleaning the coop frequently, not letting the chickens roam far away from their nests, and potentially setting up electrified fencing.

“Electric fences are probably one of the most effective deterrents to keep bears out of things, other predators as well, and even neighbourhood cats and dogs,” added Murphy.

If a bear is spotted, residents should stay as far away as possible and move inside. They can also call the Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.

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