Several bear warnings and area closures are in place in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta after some surprise encounters with both black and grizzly bears.
There are three warnings posted online for Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary.
The 4,000-square-kilometre area in the foothills and on the eastern slopes of the Rockies is made up of provincial parks and recreation areas.
Alberta Parks has posted warnings due to surprise bear encounters at: a construction site on Highway 40, east of the Kananaskis Golf Course; and, in the West Bragg Creek provincial recreation area.
Many of the biking trails on Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country are closed due to a black bear feeding on a carcass, and Banff National Park officials have now closed a forested area next to Fenlands recreation centre in the town of Banff, because a grizzly bear is feeding on a mule deer carcass.
An area where two backcountry campers and their border collie were killed by a grizzly bear last weekend also remains closed.
The bear involved in the fatal attack was killed by wildlife officials, but the Red Deer and Panther valleys from the Snow Creek summit east to the national park boundary and north to Shale Pass were closed as a safety precaution until further notice.
Parks officials remind people visiting the areas that bears can be encountered anywhere at any time.
Experts have also noted it’s a time when bears are feeding intensely to put on weight before winter and hibernation, so they can be easily surprised.
Officials recommend that people travel in groups and make lots of noise, be aware of their surroundings, keep their pets on a leash, carry bear spray and know how to use it.
The Canadian Press