Since it's not hibernation season for bears, they've been spotted all across cities in northern Alberta. Slave Lake, a town north of Edmonton, has seen the highest number of bear sightings this month. Slave Lake Fish and Wildlife have received 166 complaints just last month about bears in the area, which is a lot high than the 59 they received in all of 2018.
The City of Slave Lake recently released bear safety tips for residents to follow, and have also asked everyone to store their garbage bins in the garage or shed so bears don’t get into them.
Jasper National park recently asked visitors not to take selfies with the bears. They also caution against feeding the bears and other wildlife.
In one incident, A bear wandered into LionsDean Barbershop in Slave Lake in August. The bear knocked over equipment and eventually sat on a small shelf while the RCMP responded. The situation was resolved when the bear left peacefully.
"It was just so wild that day, it was the craziest day," Sam Assaf, owner of the barbershop, told the CBC.
The bears haven't attacked anyone in Slave Lake and they just seem to explore around the city looking for berries to munch on. The residents in Slave Lake have been sharing their bear photos and videos online all summer.
Many parts of the city have experienced minor closures due to the bear activity this summer. Posts on social media show bears popping up all around town.
Some advice from the government of Alberta for anyone living in areas with high bear activity on what to do if you encounter a bear:
- Don’t panic or run if you see a bear, instead quietly go indoors.
- Wait until the bear has left and then remove anything from your property that could attract a bear.
- Notify your nearest Fish and Wildlife Office.
You can call 310-0000 to find your closest Fish and Wild Life department, or you can call 1-800-642-3800 to report 24 hours a day to report bear activity.