Bear aversion should only be done by trained professionals. Improperly done, negative conditioning can compromise human safety and/or increase the likelihood and severity of "problem" behavior by habituated or food-conditioned bears, especially if hazing is not consistently applied.
We recommend the following training programs:
BEAR sCARE is an Alberta-based company that specializes in training people in the use of non-lethal methods to prevent human-bear conflicts. Courses vary from bear aversion training (both classroom and field training) for law enforcement officers and wildlife managers to bear safety training for working or recreating in bear country.
BEAR sCARE's non-lethal bear management training is endorsed by the Get Bear Smart Society, Canadians for Bears, and the Humane Society of the United States. Clients of BEAR sCARE include the RCMP, Enbridge Pipelines, Telus, BC Hydro, Teresan Gas, Suncor, B.C. Conservation Officer Service and Halliburton Energy Services.
The chief instructor is Dan LeGrandeur. As a former B.C. Conservation Officer of 12 years, Dan gained considerable experience in managing human-bear conflicts. Dan was a member of Whistler's Black Bear Task Team and in 1999 implemented Canada's first non-lethal bear management program in Whistler.
He is also a qualified firearms instructor.
Having worked in a wide range of environments from the urban areas of Vancouver to the coastal and rural areas of southwest B.C., Dan has gained extensive experience dealing with a wide variety of conflict situations (farming/ranching, urban areas, remote camps) involving both blacks and grizzlies.
Watch a Global TV news report on Dan training BC Conservation Officers.
For further information on products and services contact:
The Partners In Life Program - Keeping Bears Wild
The Partners-In-Life Program® is an innovative program that is saving the lives of bears by changing the way they are managed and viewed by wildlife agencies and the public. The Program is designed to resolve human-bear conflicts by teaching BOTH bears and people, and provides a safe, effective and humane, non-lethal replacement for the traditional methods of relocation followed by destruction. This program can also serve as a model for working with other species and has met with success in the U.S., Canada and Japan.
Bears are taught to recognize and avoid human boundaries and to use habitat and travel as wild bears would. Since 1995, WRBI has used "Bear Shepherding" methods to condition bears using operant conditioning principles. They have developed a system for teaching safe, meaningful lessons to bears and use a variety of loud noises, rubber projectiles and Karelian Bear Dogs (KBDs) to safely "shepherd" bears out of off-limit areas such as roadways, campgrounds, developed sites, and back country camps. Because the lessons are based on wild bear behavior, the bears are taught to view us as much like a dominant bear and learn to avoid human developed sites as "our territory".
"I have been involved in bear management in Glacier National Park for 15 years and have found Carrie's work to be the most innovative and effective approach to resolving bear-people conflicts. Carrie's efforts have produced tangible improvements in conflict situations, and her approach to bear-human conflict resolution has gained wide acceptance among park staff." Steve Gniadek, wildlife biologist, Glacier NP as quoted in Living with Bears, by Linda Masterson The Partners-In-Life Program also focuses on education. WRBI's "partners" include the bears, wildlife agencies and the general public. WRBI employs experienced biologists to train wildlife managers and the public in the proper use of WRBI's methods, to assist in maintenance or recovery of bear populations and to plan community conflict prevention programs. Bear rehabilitation is dovetailed with working with area bear managers and intensive, on-site education of the local public, communities, and recreationists to reduce attractants and address factors that are root causes of conflict situations. Bear Shepherding was developed by WRBI, in coordination with various bear management agencies including Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service and piloted in Montana, Washington, Alberta and Japan through the PILP.
WRBI offers the following options:
- On-Site consultation and assessments to identify root causes of human-bear conflicts and to develop bear/human conflict treatment plans and prevention programs.
- Presentations and 1-day Workshops to publics, local officials and community groups to educate them and to develop appropriate conflict prevention approaches.
- On-Site Introduction and Training of bear managers and private personnel in Bear Shepherding concepts and techniques:
a. Basic Bear Shepherding Course: (2-4 days) Manuals provided; can also include Beginning KBD Handling.
b. Advanced Bear Shepherding On-Site" Training Course (3 - 10 Days)
c. On-Site Bear Shepherding Introductory Program (5 days to 3 weeks) Introduction to Program and Demonstration of and/or training in the field in concepts and techniques, including presentations to the public, workshops for agency personnel and on-site trap releases, bear conditioning, conflict solving and demonstrations on problem bears. Can also include KBD team and biologist handlers.
- On-Site Field Work with bear managers to assess and work with bear conflicts.
- Breeding, selection, and training of KBD's produced by WRBI for bear managers or private individuals and groups.
- Karelian Bear Dog Temperament and Working Dog Assessments, Training Consultations and Board and Training Programs for all owners of KBDs.
If any of the above services are of interest to you, please contact WRBI and they will provide a proposal and cost estimate specifically designed for your needs. Also, please take a few minutes to visit their web site at www.beardogs.org to learn more about the Program.
Carrie Hunt, director of WRBI, has published her Bear Shepherding Techniques and Protocols in a manual entitled: Partners-In-Life Program - Bear Shepherding Guidelines For Safe and Effective Treatment of Human-Bear Conflicts". Wind River Bear Institute, Heber City, Utah. January 2003. Please contact her directly for a copy.