Bear activity has been reported in the Willowvale Marsh and Elks Park area. (Google map)

Bear activity has been reported in the Willowvale Marsh and Elks Park area. (Google map)

Bear activity around Willowvale and Elks

Town of Smithers warn trail users of bear activity around Willowvale Marsh and Elks Park.

Sections of the Perimeter Trail behind Canadian Tire, from Willowvale Marsh to Ambleside and Elks Park, have experienced increased bear activity in recent days, according to the Town of Smithers.

The Town is warning people to use extreme caution when using the trail system and keep dogs on a leash at all times.

Conservation Sgt. Kevin Nixon said despite this, things have quited down when it comes to bears in Smithers.

“Weve had that one young bear that’s been kind of plaguing us now for over a month or so, but he doesn’t seem to be staying in one particular area. He just wanders around through a few of the different green belts,” explained Nixon.

With only the one bear without cubs reported in the area, the Town has not closed the trails as it did earlier this spring. Signs at entrances to the trails warn of the bear activity instead.

Nixon said last Friday that the bear had not been spotted in the area since the Sunday before.

“I think it’s the same bear we set a trap for on Ebenezer Flats on the other side of the river. And we’ve had sightings by the hospital, by Eighteenth Ave. up by the Hilltop. It’s always been described as a shaggy looking, brownish black bear with a tinge of brown to it,” said Nixon.

“No signs of aggression, he’s just kind of skulking around town looking for whatever he can find.”

That does not mean there are not other bears coming through, especially with attractants like garbage left out, chicken feed, and one person who decided to throw meat out in the forested area just southeast of downtown. A few have also been seen on the northwest end of town.

“We did have a sow and two cubs that were by the big golf course, and we did see a couple of single bears on that side of town but no problems, no calls per se,” said Nixon.

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