Radium Hot Springs frequently has visitors of the wild kind. The Village we call home is surrounded by forests, rivers and mountains, home to all sorts of wild animals. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are prepared to deal with any type of wildlife encounter that may happen.
The Radium-Stoddart herd are seen within the Village and on the slopes adjacent to the highway leading out of Radium. The rams are distinguished by their large, curled horns, while the females have shorter horns. These animals may appear tame and oblivious to passersby, but don't be fooled. They are still WILD animals, and need to be treated with caution and respect, especially during the mating season (November-December). If you would like to read more about the bighorn population, visit the Friends of Kootenay Website - www.friendsofkootenay.ca.
Black Bears can be found throughout the Province of BC. Grizzlies may be found everywhere except on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs supports the Bear Aware Program, which is an educational program aimed at helping to reduce human-bear conflicts through education, innovation and cooperation. Keeping your house bear-proof will help keep you, your family and neighbours from encountering bears in your community.
Bears have insatiable appetites and are natural scavengers. Once they find an easy food source, they will return to that source if it is still available. When a bear encounters humans and does not experience any negative results from that encounter, the bear becomes habituated. This may lead to the bear becoming quite bold and aggressive in its search for food. Once a bear becomes food-conditioned, it usually cannot be rehabilitated and relocation does not work.
We all need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that we aren't attracting bears to our homes and businesses. These steps include, but aren't limited to:
If you would like more information on how to avoid attracting bears to your home, please visit the Bear Aware website at www.bearaware.bc.ca.
Cougars are mostly found in the southern third of BC. They favour rocky and mountain terrain, but will also live in forested and open areas, travelling long distances in search of food. Little is known about what triggers an attack, but we do know that younger children and small pets are most vulnerable to these attacks. A cougar will typically attack from behind its prey, delivering a crushing bite to the spine or base of the skull. Cougars feed mainly on deer, but will eat most animals, including house pets, coyotes and black bear cubs.
Many of the safety precautions recommended for bear encounters are also applicable to encounters with cougars. They are:
If, despite taking precautions, you encounter a cougar, do as follows:
Although encounters between cougars and humans are rare, they do happen. So take the appropriate precautions when hiking or walking in the woods, or even around the Village, and be safe.