July 23, 2014 4:39 pm

Close calls between bears, tourists prompt trail closures around Canmore

A bear in Canmore.

CALGARY- More close calls between tourists and bears have led to trail closures around Canmore.

There have been several incidents over the past week, including a jogger who was bluff charged by a bear. In another case, a Danish tourist was even swatted after getting too close to an animal near Quarry Lake.

As a result, the pathway along the powerlines near Peaks of Grassi has been closed. The Nordic Centre has also issued a warning.

Experts say it’s easy to startle the animals, as they feast on berries in the Bow Valley.

“People are definitely surprising bears out on the landscape, which is a sign people are not aware of their surroundings,” says Kim Titchener from Wildsmart.

“The bears aren’t as attentive as they might normally be,” adds Jay Honeyman, a human wildlife conflict biologist. “They have their heads in berry bushes and they’re not maybe watching as much.”

Officials are also urging people to make extra noise when walking in the area, to warm bears of their presence.

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