The Bear Facts - 2017 in review

Tuesday November 28th, 5-8:30pm

Yukon Beringia Centre


5:00pm - Open house - tables hosted by WildWise Yukon, Environment Yukon, and Yukon Conservation Society.

6:00 - Film - Canmore bear smart documentary

6:30 - Presentation by Aimee Schmidt - "Lessons from Agency and Community Responses to a Polar Bear Attack in Churchill, Manitoba" See below for more about Aimee Schmidt's work. 

7:30 – Q & A and community discussion
Silent Auction throughout the event. Stay tuned for features auction items!
This is a free event but we are very gratefully accepting donations. 

WildWise Yukon and Environment Yukon Yukon Conservation Officer Services have both had a busy bear season. 2017 was a dangerous year to be a bear in the Yukon. Preventable human-bear conflict was responsible for the unnecessary destruction of over 60 bears throughout the territory. WildWise Yukon and Environment Yukon aim to reduce the number of negative outcomes stemming from human-bear conflict through education, outreach and research. Our agencies work together to identify strategies and approaches that may reach a broad audience. We strive to provide access to information to the public and to improve our programs according to public input and feedback. This event is an opportunity to examine human-bear conflict from various angles and to enable a community-wide discussion about what has happened in the past and what we want for the future of the human-bear system.
Aimee Schmidt is originally from Atlin, BC and now resides in Whitehorse. She has worked for 6 seasons as a grizzly bear viewing guide with Phil Timpany. Aimee recently completed her PhD at the University of Saskachatewan where she studied polar-bear conflicts.

Negative encounters between bears and humans, especially encounters that result in humans getting hurt, can have a significant effect on the way entire communities feel and think about living around bears.On November 1st, 2013 two people were mauled by a polar bear in Churchill, Manitoba. The mauling shocked the community and resulted in significant steps being taken to prevent future attacks. In this talk, Aimee discusses how community members and managers respond when someone is injured or killed by a polar bear and what can be learned from these incidents. This talk raises the question: do efforts to prevent bear attacks actually effectively reduce the risk of future bear attacks?