There have been multiple black bear sightings in Cochrane this week. Residents have taken to social media to provide updates and photos of what many believe to be one 'roaming bear.'
Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officer, Aaron Szott says there's likely more than one bear that has been spotted.
"We have received multiple calls, from Bow Ridge and out towards Riviera," says Szott. "It's more than likely separate bears travelling through the Bow River or travelling down the Jumping Pound Creek which are natural wildlife corridors."
Alberta Fish and Wildlife have put up warning signs throughout these areas to notify residents and they're monitoring the situation as well as bear presence.
While Szott says it's not unusual for bears to follow natural corridors, he says there's a good chance they're being attracted to the area by food sources.
"The number one thing with urban bears would be managing our attracting," says Szott. "Bird feeders shouldn't be out. Barbecues -- If you're done cooking, you can leave your barbecue on high for about five minutes to make sure everything has burned off, and clean out the grease tray."
He says that bears are rewarded by food and will keep coming back if they've found a food source.
With the increase in bear sightings in Cochrane this week, Szott says it's important for residents to be well prepared for an encounter. He says it's not enough to carry bear spray at the bottom of a backpack, it needs to be handy.
"Have bear spray clipped to a strap or your beltline so it's quickly accessible," says Szott. "What you can often do is yell and clap your hands, make some noise towards the bear and let him know you're there."
He says that bears aren't usually looking for confrontation and they are just as startled by humans as we are by them.