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Grizzly bear sighting spurs warning in Banff recreation areas

Parks Canada officials are warning residents and tourists in Banff to be on the watch for a grizzly bear seen in the area.

Cave and Basin, Sundance Canyon and Marsh Loop recreation grounds on high alert

Parks Canada officials say the bears are out — and they are hungry. (Alex Taylor/Parks Canada)

Parks Canada officials are warning residents and tourists in Banff to be on the watch for a grizzly bear that was seen in the area.

A grizzly bear was spotted near the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff, which is located west of Calgary. (Alex Taylor/Parks Canada)

A bear warning is now in place for several areas in Banff, including the Cave and Basin, Sundance Canyon and Marsh Loop recreation grounds.

Parks Canada says snow at higher elevations is pushing the bears to lower levels in search of food.

"Spring is a crucial time for bears as they are replenishing fat stores lost during the winter months," said officials in a release. "A bear’s ability to find quality forage early in the season gives bears an important head start on a short grazing season."

To help keep bears wild and prevent them from becoming food conditioned, officials advise keeping food (including pet food and bird feeders), garbage, barbecues, recyclables and other attractants in bear-proof storage or hard-sided vehicles.

Anyone who spots a bear, or elk activity, is asked to call the Banff dispatch at 403-762-1470.

A bear warning is now in place for the areas around the Cave and Basin, Sundance Canyon and Marsh Loop recreation grounds. (Parks Canada)

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