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Fatal Black Bear Collision on Highway 97A Highlights Seasonal Risk

Armstrong, BC - September 17, 2023

In a somber reminder of the challenges that both humans and wildlife face in British Columbia's interior, a black bear was tragically struck by a vehicle on Highway 97A, several kilometers north of Armstrong.

Fatal Black Bear Collision on Highway 97A Highlights Seasonal Risk
Black Bear vs Vehicle on Highway 97A Highlights Seasonal Risk

The incident unfolded on Sunday, shedding light on the importance of understanding bear behaviors during this time of year and adopting precautionary measures to prevent such collisions.

Black bears are particularly active during the late summer and early fall as they prepare for the coming winter.

This period, known as hyperphagia, is when they voraciously consume food to build up their fat reserves for hibernation. During this time, they are often found foraging for berries, nuts, and other food sources to sustain themselves through the long, cold months ahead.

Unfortunately, encounters between bears and vehicles are not uncommon in this region. The combination of increased bear activity reduced visibility due to shorter daylight hours, and a higher volume of road traffic can lead to dangerous collisions. Such incidents not only pose a threat to the bears but also put motorists at risk.

To prevent these unfortunate occurrences, drivers are urged to take several precautions:
  1. Slow Down: Reduce your speed, especially during dawn and dusk when bears are most active.

  2. Stay Alert: Keep a watchful eye on the road and roadside, as bears can suddenly appear.

  3. Obey Speed Limits: Adhere to posted speed limits and wildlife warning signs.

  4. Use Your Horn: If you spot a bear on or near the road, use your horn to alert it and hopefully encourage it to move away.

  5. Stay Informed: Check local wildlife activity updates and road conditions before your journey.

Conservation officers are also reminding residents and visitors alike to properly secure their trash and food to discourage bears from venturing into urban areas in search of easy meals.

This can help reduce the overall risk of bear-vehicle collisions.

While the incident serves as a somber reminder of the need for coexistence with local wildlife, it is also an opportunity for increased awareness and proactive measures to safeguard both bears and motorists during this critical time of year.

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