Family of bears comes dangerously close to homes, school

CALGARY- In nearly a quarter of a century on their acreage, a Springbank family says they’ve never seen anything quite like it: a group of black bears, roaming on their property.

“She was lounging, and the cubs, after they had been around the house a few times, climbed up and down and had a little nap on top of momma,” remembers Alice Payne. “They spent the whole day up there.”

While it was quite the sight, the fact that the animals were so close to homes and a school is unnerving.

“I called the wildlife people, and they said they were monitoring it,” Payne says. “And I said ‘I don’t want them to monitor it…I want them to come and get it.’”

In the end, officers did show up, and managed to shoo the bears away using a rubber bullet.

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“She came down rather quickly with her cubs, and ran in a westerly direction,” says Fish and Wildlife officer Dave Dickson.

It’s thought the bears may have been attracted to a brick of cheese that Payne threw away.

“They may find out that it’s an easy food source and start to like it,” Dickson says. “Unfortunately if that happens, they would become habituated and we would definitely have to remove them.”

Bears typically stick to wooded areas, not open prairie like the landscape just west of city limits.


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