There were two separate bear encounters in Hay River yesterday, according to Environment and Climate Change (ECC).
A large bear was spotted in the Ravine behind Riverview in the early morning. Later that same morning, a sow and her two cubs were seen on the Rotary Trail.
Local law enforcement agencies and wildlife officials have been alerted to the sightings. Officers conducted periodic patrols in the area throughout the day to ensure the safety of both residents and the bears. In light of these sightings, ECC is urging community members in “bear country” to take preventive measures to minimize the chances of bear encounters.
Here are ECC’s tips:
- Never leave garbage, fuel, food, or carcasses outside, as these attract bears to residential areas.
- Make noise while outdoors to alert bears of your presence. This can help prevent surprise encounter.
- If venturing into the wilderness, watch for fresh bear sightings, travel in larger groups, and keep your dog on a leash at all times.
ECC reminds residents that a bear sighting is not an emergency unless the animal is deviating from its expected location or displaying predatory or aggressive behaviour. Residents spotting a bear are advised to maintain a safe distance and promptly report the sighting to the Hay River Wildlife Emergency Line at 1-867-875-7640.
For additional information and comprehensive guidelines on bear safety and prevention, residents are encouraged to visit the following link. The contact information for all the regional offices can be found here.