Bear-ly out of the woods

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A young adult black bear spent much of his Wednesday in a Ghost Lake Village back yard

Even though Jeff Zambory’s family has owned their Ghost Lake Village cabin for 57 years, Sept. 12 marked a first for the Calgarian who frequents the family getaway – an up close and personal bear sighting.

A sub-adult male black bear spent his entire Wednesday in the backyard at the Zambory family cabin – mostly taking it all in from up high in a tree.

“It was early in the morning she heard this noise … he was ripping up the bird feeder having a pretty good feed,” said Zambory, whose sister was greeted by the visitor on the porch around 7 a.m.

Zambory, who was in Calgary at the time, made his way out to the lake by early afternoon – after his family had notified the RCMP and a fish and wildlife officer had been dispatched.

The officer, who helped the family take down two bird feeders and clean up the mess of seeds, advised the family to notify them if the bear did not make his way down from the tree and leave the premises, as they would trap and relocate him to more wild surroundings.

The bear did not show any signs of aggression toward the family.

Later that afternoon the bear did make his way down from the tree, but the family was nervous about the discovery of their open garage door with an awaiting 50-pound bag of bird feed and they loudly scared him back up to safety by clanging pots and pans so they could close the door and ensure there was not temptation to get after the bulk seed.

“We kept our distance … we didn’t want to get him too used to humans,” explained Zambory, adding that they were not frightened, only cautious to watch from a distance and to not “poke the bear.”

Sometime later that night the bear took up his travels once again.

Zambory said the experience was “pretty cool” and that the bear was “very cute.”

It appears the only creatures that were in distress were the squirrels – as the Zambory family watched the critters scatter about in a panic that their “all you can eat buffet” – aka bird feeders – had been taken down and put away … at least until everyone is safely in hibernation.

“This is the time of year when bears are most active and will feed on anything they can get,” said Brendan Cox, spokesperson for the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. “Some items on your property that feel safe or routine could still attract bears.”

Fish and wildlife recommend the following:

-storage of all garbage in sealed containers

-clean up fallen fruit from trees before end of day

-hunters/fishers to store meat, carcasses and such away from where bears can gain access

-cleaning barbecues from food residue

-bird feeders not recommended to be used from April 1- Nov. 30

-pet owners keep pet food sealed

Thanks to Jeff Zambory for the photos of the bear

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About Author

Lindsay Seewalt

Lindsay is a senior Eagle reporter who has transformed her penchant for storytelling into the craft of writing. She has a knack for getting the scoop on stories and is a strong interviewer. The U of C and MRU English/Journalism graduate is committed to telling every story through a new lens, from a fresh perspective. Currently, her focus is on news and politics reporting, including town hall. She has a passion for providing a platform for underdogs, grassroots movements and those who have the courage to put themselves out there. She bases the strength of her stories on the depth of her connection with her interviewee, which is best done over too much coffee.