Some Cochrane residents had two surprise visitors this past weekend when they looked out their kitchen window in the Rolling Range Estates neighbourhood.
The Rieberer family spotted two grizzly bears roaming their backyard on Friday and Saturday. One bear chased Joanne Rieberer’s dogs up the stairs to the upper deck of her home.
“It was interesting. They were really cute at first, until they chased my dogs and me up the deck. I was a little frightened then. I was within 30 feet (of them),” Joanne Rieberer said. “The bear came around quite a few times throughout the day. So I spent the evening inside after he chased us up the deck.”
Joanne’s husband, Will Rieberer, was watching when the animal was trapped Saturday.
He said the second one came to check out the one in the trap.
“So since Friday night, all day yesterday, he’s been in and out of our yard and around all of our neighbours’ tearing up compost in bird feeders, garbage at our place whatever he can get into.”
“The second bear, he’s a good size was probably about three or 400 pounds. He was on top of the bear trap where the other one was and you could hear the other one crying out. And the other one was up on top but he wasn’t going to go in,” Will Rieberer said.
Cochrane resident Darren Wilkinson said one of the bears ate two of his chickens. He says all the bear left behind were the feet.
“I saw a grizzly bear on top of my chicken coop. I walked down to put my chickens in last night just before dark, and I came around the corner and he was on top of my chicken coop bouncing up-and-down like a baby trying to get in,” Wilkinson said. “I panicked and ran back into the house as quickly as I could. I was about 20 feet away. It was scary. We could hear him on the back deck, we could hear him breaking into the chicken coop. It was a shock. At first I was looking at it and wondering if I was really seeing what I was seeing.”
- To help prevent bears from coming near your house, remove pet food and feeders at night.
- Consider electric fencing if your garden or stored produce attracts bears. Consider removing fruit trees and berry-producing bushes from your property.
- Remove bird feeders from your yard between April and October. Be sure to clean up any spilled bird feed off the ground.
- Keep your garbage in bear-resistant, airtight containers.
- Keep your compost indoors. Outdoor compost attracts bears. Look into using an indoor composter.
- Clean your barbecues. Scrub your barbecue clean after each use and store it in a bear-resistant building, such as the garage or shed.