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 “conflict” behavior, 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.
For further information on products and services contact:
10208 79 Street Edmonton, AB T6A 3G5
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 option to 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.
Biologists work with bears to teach them to be more wary of humans using rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and noisemakers to create a negative association with humans, without causing aggression. Using Wind River Bear Institute’s trademarked Bear Shepherding techniques, bears learn to avoid vehicles when using roadside habitat, which should reduce the likelihood of vehicle strikes and people feeding the animals. Specially trained Karelian Bear Dogs shepherd bears out of urban and residential areas, as well as campgrounds, without needing to immobilize and remove the animals.
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.
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.
Carrie L. Hunt, Director
Wind River Bear Institute
Box 1299, Florence, MT 59833
ph: 406-273-4899 fax 406-273-4752
Canadian program contact:
(604) 452-2120 or (604) 935-2103 (cell)