Athabasca, Alberta – In the early morning of August 1, 2017 Athabasca RCMP received a complaint from a local resident who advised that her elderly sister had left for a hike and had not returned when expected.
When she tried to call her sister she had poor reception. The caller was able to hear that her sister was in the trails, and being followed by two black bears. A second phonecall came through but only muffled noises were heard.
Rather than the traditional horses, RCMP mounted All Terrain Vehicles and made patrols of the Muskeg Creek Park area. The park contains 20 km of wilderness trails in Athabasca. A short while later the 70 year-old female was located on a back trail, exhausted but unharmed.
Corporal Curtis HARSULLA says, ” The hiker appeared relieved to see us when we located her. It appeared that the bears did indeed followed her, but more-so out of curiosity and did not show any signs of aggression. She was given a ride back to her residence.”
RCMP would like to remind trail users and residents to be “bear-aware” and that bears are frequently seen both in town and the back-country. Taking deterrents such as airhorns, whistles and bear-spray, along with letting others know your plans if going alone are all good ideas when heading out into bear country. For more information visit www.bearsmart.alberta.ca or contact your local Fish and Wildlife Division or RCMP detachment.