A grizzly has been seen wandering in Thornhill near Copper River Estates early this week.
It was Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. that Bev Mouland caught sight of an estimated 400 pound grizzly wandering in her backyard on Marten Drive.
The grizzly was digging around her empty fire pit, Mouland said, adding that the bear shifted its attention when it caught sight of her blackberry bushes.
“My husband went outside and… just kind of went ‘hey, hey, get out of here,’” said Mouland.
“[The grizzly] just looked at him and kind of put up his snout, and was sniffing him… he wasn’t showing aggression towards us or anything.”
Mouland said the grizzly did move on, going to the neighbours house and was rolling around their compost pail. It wandered back into their yard later that day again, she said.
Here’s a video the Mouland’s captured of the grizzly in their yard:
Conservation was called and set a trap around the corner from her house, but Mouland said she checked it this morning and the trap is empty.
Kevin Nixon, conservation sergeant in Smithers, confirmed the bear appeared to have been in some garbage and has not been spotted in Copper River Estates since Monday.
“Moving on is the best case scenario,” said Nixon.
Reports indicated the bear might be skinny and Nixon said that might just be normal.
“Teenage male grizzly bears are long and lanky. They haven’t filled out with fur so they appear skinny. They’re just not your big, big bulky bears,” said Nixon, adding he hasn’t seen the bear and can’t comment for sure but is giving one example for why it looks skinny at this time of year.
“In the heat, they do not grow their hair long until it cools off so they look scruffier this time of year, [It could be] just a teenage male and a little longer legged.”
Conservation officer Scott Senkiw said, in a release Aug. 21, that he had been following up on each report, patrolling the neighbourhood and speaking with residents, discussing bear behaviour and general activity.
“The area hosts a bounty of natural food sources and Copper River Estates exists within a natural corridor [where bears naturally pass through],” said Senkiw, adding the bear or bears are not believed to be food conditioned.
It is peak bear season and bear sightings are common during this time of year, he added.
Residents are asked at this time of year especially, to be diligent with household garbage, roadside pickup and ripening fruit trees.
“If attractants in the community are managed, it will encourage bears to move on. Natural sources are abundant and deceased salmon will be sought after along the river banks,” he said, adding that bears who begin to exhibit signs of habituation, food conditioning or aggressive behaviour will be removed from the area.
Senkiw added that public safety is the main concern.
In the past, food conditioned or habituated bears have been destroyed.
Residents are asked to call the RAPP Line (1-877-952-7277) for reporting problem wildlife and violations.
A grizzly was sighted a month ago near Krumm Road in Thornhill, but that was a sow and cubs, so likely not the same one.