Alberta Fish and Wildlife investigating ‘suspected’ fatal bear attack

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is warning about a “suspected” fatal bear attack that happened southwest of Water Valley on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Details about the victim have not been released as officials continue to investigate.

“The individual had gone for a walk on their property and was found deceased on one of their trails,” said Alberta government spokesperson Dan Laville.

Wildlife officers said Wednesday that they put up traps and are working to determine the bear’s identity, noting a grizzly bear and a cub were seen in the area, with the sow “exhibiting aggressive behaviour.”

Alberta Fish and Wildlife reminded people in the area — even on their own properties — to be vigilant: travel in groups and keep bear spray on hand.

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If you encounter a bear, Alberta Fish and Wildlife said to:

  • stay calm and do not run
  • look around and back away if you see cubs or an animal carcass as the bear will want to protect them
  • prepare to use bear spray
  • back out and leave the area the way you came. “Keep your eye on the bear without staring at it aggressively.”
  • look for a hiding place
  • speak to the bear in a soft, low voice. “Let the bear know that you are human and not a prey animal.”

Officials explained that bears entering residential areas to eat unnatural food is a “public safety risk because they are easily habituated and may defend the food source.” Make sure you put garbage in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers or buildings, clean outdoor eating areas and maintain or remove gardens or fruit trees.

Report bear sightings or encounters to the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.

Water Valley is about 80 kilometres northwest of Calgary.

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