Being bear aware helps keep people and bears safe
A brown bear sighted by one of our remote wildlife cameras.
August 2016 – Bears may look cute and cuddly from a distance, but an up-close encounter is a different matter, and can result in bad outcomes for both people and the animals involved.
That’s why we concentrate on employee safety and wildlife protection at our oil sands operations in northern Alberta by doing all we can to minimize human-wildlife interactions before they occur.
"Educating people about bear safety before they ever set foot at one of our northern field operations has helped protect people and bears," says Liz Swift, a Senior Environmental Advisor at Cenovus.
“In 2015, we designed our own wildlife awareness training course to do this and we’ve had more than 1,300 employees and contractors participate so far.”
The online training is mandatory for Cenovus employees and highly recommended for third-party contractors who work with us in areas north of Edmonton. We also provide external links to resources on bear safety.
At our sites, we have several measures in place to help ensure we’re reducing the chances of conflict with bears including:
- Bear-proof garbage containers
- Electric fencing around accommodation areas to deter food-seeking bears
- Bear monitoring through our Wild Watch app and remote cameras
- Regular cleaning of the facilities, ensuring no garbage or waste is loose on site
- When needed, we can call handlers with dogs trained to help keep bears from entering the camp area
“You can never be too careful with how garbage is handled on our sites,” says John Fileccia, Cenovus Field Accommodations Maintenance Manager “We don’t want to give bears a reason to stop. Bears are great to see in the wild, away from our facilities.”