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Southwest Calgary residents on alert as bear spotted in area

A black bear was spotted behind homes along Aspen Stone Court S.W. Amelia Jay

Calgary residents living the southwest neighbourhoods of Mystic Ridge, Aspen and Springbank are keeping their eyes peeled after a bear was spotted in the area.

According to Alberta Fish and Wildlife, a woman encountered a bear while walking with her child in Mystic Ridge on Wednesday.

The bear didn’t follow the woman and officials don’t believe she was “bluff charged,” which bears do to scare or intimidate something they perceive as a threat.

READ MORE: Canmore raises fines for owners of neglected fruit trees, animal attractants

An officer was sent to the area but didn’t find the bear and Fish and Wildlife said there were no more reported sightings in the area.

Several sightings of a black bear wandering between Springbank, Valley Ridge and Mystic Ridge were also reported. Officials said it appears the bear is “constantly travelling and covering large areas in a community connected by large green spaces, and reports of sightings have not been consistent.”

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Officers are monitoring and looking for possible locations for traps, Fish and Wildlife said.

READ MORE: Alberta woman encounters 3 grizzlies in backyard: ‘I just froze in my tracks’

Area resident Dylan Dean told Global News on Friday that community members are taking precautions like making sure their garbage is kept inside and Dean said she’s keeping a closer eye on her dog when he’s in the backyard.

“We have the bus stop right here and just the other day when he was close by and had crossed 85 Street into our area, there were just some kids that walked out on Mystic Ridge so they were warned to just be careful on their scooters and their bike,” she said.

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A black bear was spotted behind homes along Aspen Stone Court S.W. Amelia Jay
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A black bear was spotted behind homes along Aspen Stone Court S.W. Amelia Jay
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A black bear was spotted behind homes along Aspen Stone Court S.W. Amelia Jay

Dean said they’ve had the odd moose sighting and deer are regulars in the area, but this is the first time she’s known of a bear in the area in her six years living there.

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“It’s exciting,” she said. “They’re just doing their own thing. I think everyone’s just letting him get through.”

READ MORE: Jasper National Park stops issuing bear reports due to ‘harassment of wildlife’

Alberta Fish and Wildlife said during the spring and fall, there’s a higher chance bears will be in search of unnatural food sources, like garbage.

People are encouraged to take the following precautions to keep bears out of urban areas:

  • Store garbage in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers or buildings until it can be removed from your property
  • Any possible attractants should be cleaned up and removed as soon as possible, if not immediately, to avoid habituation of bears and other wildlife
  • Pet food should never be left outside or stored in areas accessible to bears
  • Bird feeders should not be used between April 1 and November 30
  • Residents should clean barbecues and outdoor eating areas after use
  • Smokehouses and animal carcasses, including bones, hides and waste, should be stored in bear-resistant buildings well away from people
  • Gardens and fruit-bearing trees or shrubs also attract bears, and should be properly maintained or removed
  • Residents should consider using an indoor composter
  • Aerate outdoor compost piles frequently and cover these with soil or lime
  • Do not put meat, fish, oils and milk products in the compost pile

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