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Residents not overly worried about bear roaming neighbourhood

Residents of a sleepy Cochrane neighbourhood have frequently been awakened to the sound of a black bear rummaging in their green recycling bins.
Walkers along the pathway leading to the river off Riverview Circle are warned to be aware of the bear.

Residents of a sleepy Cochrane neighbourhood have frequently been awakened to the sound of a black bear rummaging in their green recycling bins for a couple of weeks now, as Fish and Wildlife officers continue to try trapping it without success.

People on Riverview Circle, which runs along the Bow River, are on high alert, but those who spoke to The Eagle on Friday did not seem overly fearful or worried.

“Bears come and go. They travel great distances,” said John, a member of the British military who lives down the street and didn’t want his last name used.

He walks his dog in the morning; he saw police walking the pathway at 6 a.m. a couple of days earlier.

John said he doesn’t think the bear would be too interested in attacking him, so he’s not worried.

“If I came out of my house and saw a big black bear then I would be, but he’s looking for food, he’s scavenging – it’s that time of year,” he said.

He’d heard about the three bears who were relocated 200 kilometres away from Canmore a few weeks ago and returned two weeks later, only to be euthanized.

“That’s a shame,” he said.

People need to be aware of good garbage management, and common sense is key, he said, “We live in bear country.”

Two doors down from a bear warning sign at the entrance to a pathway leading to the river, Amanda Todd is also aware of all the recent activity.

“I’m not scared because we’re being careful. It’s a black bear, and it’s not attacking people or anything. It dumped over a couple of garbage cans – it was in ours,” she said.

Todd chuckled when she recalled a video showing the bear running across front yards across from the bus stop where kids were watching.

But that doesn’t mean she’s OK with her kid waiting alone at his bus stop. The morning after that incident, she drove her teenage son to the bus stop just down the street and waited with him in the car until the bus came.

She makes noise when she goes out to the green bins at the side of the house and says she’s not worried.

“I’m not freaked out or anything,” she said.

Todd said Fish and Wildlfie officers put a trap out on the pathway near where the video incident happened, but she hasn’t heard if they’ve had any success.

“It was there for a couple of days but the bear didn’t go in. Bears are smart. He probably looked in and said, ‘I’m not going in that creepy looking thing,’” she laughed.

Calls to Alberta Fish and Wildlife from The Eagle were not returned at press time Friday.

She said the fact the bear was seen rummaging in daylight was a bit concerning, and might indicate it was getting too comfortable around humans, and may end up being euthanized.

“They can’t have it running around, right?”







Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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