Wild horses are now roaming the rugged, remote, snow-capped Alpine Meadows in Alberta’s Red Mountains, with the first herd of the year expected to make its way to the north in less than a week.
A herd of 10 bears, two black bears and two grizzlies are currently roaming the narrow, rocky canyon and are believed to be the first of the season.
In recent years, the wild horses have been spotted in the area and are thought to be migrating south to the south-east from the mountains to hunt for elk and moose.
The animals were spotted on Tuesday after a group of bears were spotted in a clearing near the lodge, where the lodge sits on the banks of the Salmon River.
“The Bears have been in the vicinity for the past two days and we were just able to see them with the naked eye,” said Mike Gannon, who is managing the Bears and Mountain Lions project.
“It’s a good sign, and hopefully it means the bears will be able to find elk this winter.”
“It was a little bit of a surprise that we had them in the park and it’s nice to see,” he added.
Bears are normally solitary and do not breed, but they can often be found together, and the Bears’ range has grown from just a handful of bears in 2010 to over 1,000 animals in 2015.
The Bears and Mountains Lions project is trying to get rid of the bears.
“When the grizzly population was just starting to recover from a catastrophic mass killing in the early 2000s, the Bears were just completely wiped out,” Gannon said.
“We’re trying to bring them back back to a place where they belong.”
“If you think about it, these bears are the very definition of wild, they’re out here in the wild.
They’re not controlled.
They do not have a set quota, they are wild, and we’re just trying to preserve them,” he said.