After two weeks of touring Discovery Ridge — a community near a large nature park along the Elbow River — a mother black bear and her cub were trapped by Alberta Fish and Wildlife.
Fish and Wildlife officials closed some trails in Griffith Woods Park Monday night and set up bear traps. The mother and cub were caught in the traps on Wednesday morning.
“Fish and Wildlife officials have immobilized and ear-tagged the bears and will relocate them to a remote and safer location,” Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.
Security cameras caught the bears sauntering down resident Lisa Swanson’s driveway two nights in a row.
On Sunday around 2:30 a.m. it was both the mother and her cub. The next night, around 11:30 p.m., the young animal was on its own.
“These bears really love the trash and compost. So if we don’t put that away and lock it up in our garage for a few weeks, we’ve given them a food source. So they’re not going this time.”
She says she’s used to having all kinds of wildlife surrounding her home, but usually they go it alone.
In the past week, Swanson says, they got mischievous — knocking over trash cans and “making havoc.”
Mehar Park and his brother Aarya live down the road from Swanson.
“We heard them last night. They were near the neighbor’s house, knocking over the trash cans and probably eating the trash,” Mehar said.
Keep litter safe, Fish and Wildlife urges
Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Scott Kallweit says it’s important to store trash, compost and recycling bins in a secured structure — especially in communities like Discovery Ridge, which have lots of green space in the neighborhood.
“The most obvious thing would be to be in a garage and keep it safe until the morning of collection,” Kallweit said.
According to a statement from Alberta Fish and Wildlife, this incident is an important reminder that even in urban areas like Calgary, wildlife can travel through natural areas in the city — especially at this time of year when bears prepare to hibernate.
“Bears entering residential areas to feed on unnatural food sources pose a safety hazard to the public as they can easily adapt and defend the food source,” the statement said.
Kallweit also urges people to remove all other possible attractants, such as pet food and fruit fallen from trees.
Swanson says all residents have the best intentions and want to evict bears from the community, but some don’t want to leave their smelly trash cans in their garages. It has caused some controversy in the community.
“We have to be personally responsible for putting away our trash cans,” Swanson said.
Increase in bear-related calls
Kallweit says the agency has received an increased number of bear calls compared to previous years.
Between May 1 and September 13, the district received approximately 38 calls. That compares to 10 calls in 2022 over the same period.
Of the 38 calls this year, 23 were made in the first two weeks of September.
“It could be sort of an amalgamation of a whole bunch of different reported sightings of the same bear moving through the city,” he said.
According to Kallweit, bears have been spotted across the city, in communities like Sierra Hills, Oakridge Estates and Woodbine, and in areas near Glenmore Reservoir and Fish Creek Provincial Park.