Mother black bear and cub removed after roaming Discovery Ridge for 2 weeks

·3 min read
A mother black bear and her cub walked through Lisa Swanson's driveway on Sunday night. The bears have since been caught and relocated. (Submitted by Lisa Swanson - image credit)
A mother black bear and her cub walked through Lisa Swanson's driveway on Sunday night. The bears have since been caught and relocated. (Submitted by Lisa Swanson - image credit)

After two weeks of roaming around Discovery Ridge — a community near a large natural park along the Elbow River — a mother black bear and her cub were caught in a trap by Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

Fish and Wildlife officers closed some pathways in Griffith Woods Park and set up bear traps on Monday evening. The mom and cub were caught in the traps on Wednesday morning.

"Fish and Wildlife officers immobilized and ear tagged the bears and will relocate them to a remote and safer location," said a statement by Fish and Wildlife.

Security cameras caught the bears ambling down resident Lisa Swanson's driveway two nights in a row.

On Sunday around 2:30 a.m., it was both the mom and her cub. The next night, around 11:30 p.m., the cub was on its own.

"These bears, they're really loving the garbage and the compost. So if we don't put that away and don't lock it in our garage for a couple of weeks, we've given them a source of food. So they're not leaving this time."

She says she's used to having all kinds of wildlife surrounding her home, but they usually pass through on their own.

WATCH | A mother bear and her cub were seen on a driveway in Discovery Ridge:

In the past week, Swanson says, they became mischievous — knocking over garbage bins and "wreaking havoc."

Mehar Park and his brother Aarya live down the street from Swanson.

"We heard them last night. They were near the neighbour's house, knocking down the bins, eating the garbage, probably," said Mehar.

Keep garbage secured, urges Fish and Wildlife

Sgt. Scott Kallweit with Fish and Wildlife says it's important to keep garbage, compost and recycling bins inside a secured structure — especially in communities like Discovery Ridge, which have lots of green space throughout the neighbourhood.

"The most obvious one would be inside a garage and keeping those secured inside until the morning of pickup," said Kallweit.

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 during this time of year, when bears are preparing for hibernation.

Karina Zapata/CBC
Karina Zapata/CBC

"Bears coming into residential areas to feed on unnatural food sources is a public safety risk because they are easily habituated and may defend the food source," said the statement.

Kallweit also urges people to remove any other possible attractants, such as pet food and fruit that has fallen from trees.

Swanson says all residents have the best intention and want bears out of the community, but some don't want to keep their smelly bins in their garages. It's created some controversy in the community.

"We need to be personally responsible to put our bins away," said Swanson.

Increase in bear-related calls

Kallweit says the agency has received an increased number of bear-related calls compared with previous years.

Between May 1 to Sept. 13, approximately 38 calls were made to the district. That's compared with 10 calls in 2022, over the same time period.

Submitted by Lisa Swanson
Submitted by Lisa Swanson

Of the 38 calls this year, 23 were made in the first two weeks of September.

"Those could be sort of an amalgamation of a whole bunch of different reported sightings of the same bear moving throughout the city," he said.

Kallweit says bears have been sighted throughout the city, in communities including Sierra Hills, Oakridge Estates and Woodbine, and in areas near the Glenmore Reservoir and Fish Creek Provincial Park.