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Canmore brings in $100 fruit fine to prevent bear dangers

Click to play video: 'Canmore takes new steps to prevent bear dangers' Canmore takes new steps to prevent bear dangers
WATCH: This summer has brought a lot of encounters with bears in the mountains west of Calgary. Now, as Gil Tucker shows us, there’s a new effort to cut down the danger – and people in Canmore are hoping it’ll really bear fruit – Sep 7, 2017

It’s one of Kaitlyn Hoover’s most vivid memories from this summer – her neighbour’s story about a close encounter with a bear.

READ MORE: Bear 148 moved 500 km north of Canmore after week of ‘daily’ human encounters

It happened one evening on their Canmore street, as the neighbour returned from walking her dog.

“Her tree started shaking,” Hoover recalled.

“She looked up and she just screamed and ran back in her house, because there was a black bear just chillin’ in the tree.”

The bear was after apples in the tree, something that’s been happening fairly often in recent years in the Rocky Mountain Town of Canmore, west of Calgary.

READ MORE: Grizzly bear known for ‘low tolerance of dogs’ caught near Canmore

LISTEN: Senior biologist with Alberta Environment and Parks on bear 148 

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Now the town is taking action to try to prevent it, bringing in a new bylaw that provides for $100 fines for people who leave fruit on their trees.

The town’s sustainability coordinator, Lori Rissling Wynn, is hoping it’ll prompt people to take action.

“If someone decides that they don’t want to manage their fruit trees and it does become an issue with respect to a bear, now we have the ability to fine them,” Rissling Wynn said.

Watch below from Sept. 1: WildSmart education coordinator Nick de Ruyter joins Global Calgary with details on recent bear activity in the Bow Valley.

Click to play video: 'Your guide to recent bear activity in the Bow Valley' Your guide to recent bear activity in the Bow Valley
Your guide to recent bear activity in the Bow Valley – Sep 1, 2017

Canmore-based wildlife education group WildSmart is also taking action, lending out fruit-picking equipment and organizing volunteers to pick fruit.

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“People in the community really need to take responsibility for their own actions,” WildSmart’s Nick de Ruyter said.

“We can’t go to every house and pick apples. People need to do it themselves, which is why we lend out this equipment.”

So far the town hasn’t fined anyone under the new bylaw, but it says it will respond to any complaints.

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

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