The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is reminding you to stay Bear Smart this spring.
Alberta is home to over 40,000 black bears, and they are a natural part of the Wood Buffalo ecosystem. Bear sightings are common in the RMWB.
The province has created a Bear Smart guide to help Albertans understand bear behavior and respond appropriately to bear encounters. The RMWB is encouraging all residents to become familiar with how to stay bear smart.
The Municipality is reminding you to watch for bears when going into their territory (any forested area) whether you’re hiking, biking, fishing or just walking along the treeline.
Do not wear headphones or anything that could obstruct your hearing. Carry bear spray in an easily accessible place and know how to use it.
If you see a bear on a neighbourhood street, in a park, or anywhere in the Urban Service Area and it is not an emergency, report the sighting to Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 780-743-7200. If the non-emergency sighting is after business hours, please call the Report A Poacher hotline at 1-800-642-3800.
In an emergency situation, residents should always call 9-1-1 for assistance.
The Municipality is also asking residents to stay bear smart at home by storing their garbage bins indoors, and only putting them out on the day of collection. They also suggest cleaning your barbecue after each use, and keeping meats, fish, and oils out of your compost bins.
For more information on the RMWB’s Bear Smart program, visit their website.