June 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Bears continue to descend on Banff townsite

CALGARY- Bears continue to flock to the Banff townsite, prompting yet another warning from parks officials.

It has been an unusually busy season for wildlife sightings in the area, and a Global News crew spotted six bears within just a few hours.

One of them was a small black bear holed up in a tree in someone’s backyard, and parks staff had to haze it out into a safer habitat. Bears have also been spotted at the Tunnel Mountain campground, along Norquay Road and the Minnewanka Loop.

“It’s been a really busy season for us with wildlife, and bears in particular,” says human wildlife conflict specialist Steve Michel. “We had a really prolonged winter, cold spring, so all the bears are still concentrated right in the valley bottom areas, right in the areas where all the people are.”

A number of warnings have been put up along popular trails, and Vermillion Lakes Road is closed to the public. Parks staff are reminding visitors to give animals lots of space.

Parks Canada has set up a website to track recent bear sightings. To report a bear sighting, call 1-888-WARDENS.

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