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Bear closure signs removed from Canmore-area trails where woman was attacked

Click to play video: 'Your guide to the recent bear activity in the Bow Valley' Your guide to the recent bear activity in the Bow Valley
WATCH: WildSmart education coordinator Nick de Ruyter joins Global Calgary with details on the bear activity happening in the Bow Valley and how to stay safe – Aug 4, 2017

Three days after a woman was attacked by a bear in Canmore, Alberta Parks and WildSmart officials are warning people to be aware of their surroundings after learning closure signs were removed from the area.

WildSmart posted on their Facebook page Wednesday after they were told by Alberta Parks that signs and tape were removed from the closure area around Quarry Lake.

READ MORE: Canmore woman injured in Sunday bear attack after entering closed area

“It’s very frustrating because, you know, our goal is to educate everyone in this area,” Nick de Ruyter of WildSmart said.

“When you see stuff like this it’s just people blatantly not caring.

“It’s frustrating because their actions could result in other people and bears being at risk.”

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A woman was attacked by a bear while she was walking her dog along the Canmore Reservoir Sunday evening. The area was closed on July 28 due to the number of bears feeding on berries.

WATCH: A woman walking her dog was attacked by a bear near Canmore on Sunday. As Gary Bobrovitz reports, the area was closed due to a bear warning at the time

Click to play video: 'Canmore woman injured in Sunday bear attack after entering closed area' Canmore woman injured in Sunday bear attack after entering closed area
Canmore woman injured in Sunday bear attack after entering closed area – Aug 8, 2017

The woman was treated for her injuries in hospital and released. The dog wasn’t harmed.

While people who violate bear closures can face fines, a spokesperson for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General told Global News the woman would not face any penalties.

“She may have inadvertently crossed into part of the closure while travelling, roughly half way down the east side of the Canmore Reservoir,” Sherene Khaw said in an emailed statement.

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READ MORE: Alberta woman followed by 2 bears on hike pocket-dials sister

De Ruyter said sign removal isn’t new.

“[The signs] are very important,” he said. “These are big areas that we’re talking about and we don’t have enough people in the area standing and holding hands around these areas to keep people out.

“We rely on signage and tape to keep people out of these areas.”

De Ruyter said people should remember that bear encounters don’t only happen in closure areas – the animals can be wandering anywhere there’s food for them.

“Regardless if we’re talking about a closed or a warning area or an area that doesn’t have anything – people have to remember that they could encounter a bear any time, anywhere.”

READ MORE: 2 young grizzly bears relocated to wilderness northwest of Calgary

He suggests people check online before heading out, always be aware of their surroundings and carry bear spray.

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Information about bear closures can be found on the WildSmart Facebook page, website or through the WildSmart bear report, as well as on the Alberta Parks advisories page.

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