Spring has finally arrived in Alberta and a few rambunctious bear cubs at Waterton Lakes National Park could not be more excited.
The adorable animals were spotted by Global News on Thursday, May 3 while touring the park.
A human-wildlife coexistence specialist for Parks Canada said the cubs are no older than two months.
“The elk, the deer, the bears are starting to come out,” Dan Rafla said.
There are about four bear cubs in the area right now, he said. Typically, between 30 and 50 per cent of all bear cubs born in the region won’t live until adulthood. That percentage could be higher this year, since some habitat — and food sources — was destroyed in the Kenow wildfire last September.
Parks Canada says the blaze affected 38 per cent of the park and 50 per cent of its vegetation.
“Bears are quite resilient,” Rafla said. “They’re like people; they will pretty much eat anything. Bears that did survive that we knew about are persisting in their same habitat and territories.”
“Now that the land is already starting to rejuvenate, we’re seeing animals back in the landscape.”
Waterton Lakes National Park is open for the 2018 season, but there are some significant closures in place due to fire damage.
Rafla had a word of caution for any potential visitors.
“People are going to see wildlife. I guess the message to drive home … but particularly this year, after a fire and the land has changed and maybe those food sources aren’t as predictable — is to be really aware as a visitor that these animals might have a bit more challenge finding food and to be a bit more respectful in the wildlife and giving them space too.”
More information about Waterton Lakes National Park’s 2018 season can be found here.