Drumheller and area residents have been a bit more cautious outdoors lately as there has been a confirmed bear sighting.

"The first one came in the Tolman/ Rumsey area, that was on the 1st of June. On the 2nd of June, we received another call that it was near the Orkney Hall, just east of the hall and it was just as I started my shift and headed to the area," stated Jeff Zimmer, District Fish and Wildlife Officer.

"As I was leaving the area, just came up out of the river valley and headed east towards Munson and I actually seen the bear in a stubble field. I was able to take some photographs and video of it walking in the field. I watched it for a little bit, it disappeared into another little valley and later in the valley we received another call that it was in someone's acreage in their yard."

Zimmer estimated that it is a 3 year old black bear and weighs between 100 to 150 pounds. BEAR 1Black bear photo submitted by Jeff Zimmer.

When Fish & Wildlife were monitoring the bear they noticed it was quite skittish, which is exactly what they wanted to see.

"It was acting like a wild animal and not like it was habituated, like it had become used to being around people and people activity. My guess is that it's just lost and is trying to find a nice spot to hunker down," Zimmer noted.

It's very rare that we get black bears in the Prairies because they are boreal forest animals and we don't have much of a forest here.

Zimmer outlined that they will leave the bear alone unless it becomes a risk to the public.

"If they become habituated where they lose the fear of humans and could be a risk to public's safety. In that case, normally we either euthanize them rather than tranquilize and move them because this far out in the prairie, we're going to have to move him a very long ways," he explained.

"These sightings are few and far between out here, but they can give my office a call and either leave a message or let my secretary know that they've seen this thing. Like I said, I'm not too concerned unless it is a public safety thing. If it does become a public safety matter, call 9-1-1 or Report A Poacher, that's our dispatch."

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