CALGARY -- Residents of an acreage community in Cochrane, Alta., say they're used to seeing wildlife visit the wetlands and wilderness areas near their homes, but on Saturday there was a new furry face in the mix.
A grizzly bear strolled through the area between the Rolling Range Estates and the neighbouring development of Fireside, 18 km west of Calgary, area resident Larry Weiers said.
"We jumped in the truck and raced off in the direction we thought the bear was going to warn the families," Weiers said, adding the first home he went to had young children playing outside.
Neighbours joined and eventually a group of residents were working together to alert others about the ursine stranger.
"We regularly get coyotes, foxes and because of the wetlands, geese, swans, moose, but the bear? That would be the rarest one we've seen," said Weiers, who has lived there for 13 years.
"We all really appreciated the view of him, it was cool."
Maybe everyone except for Elaine Wood's horses, who she said were "horrified" when the grizzly wandered into their pasture, though it didn't disturb them.
Wood said the grizzly checked out a feed bucket and then "caught a whiff of the compost bin."
It knocked the lid off, got up on its hind legs and reached inside trying to scoop out some snacks, and later tried to knock the barrel over before wandering up some stairs to her garage, across her driveway and then meandering into the wilderness heading west, said Wood.
"It was surreal," she said. "He was a beautiful animal, he was quite gorgeous, but he wasn't that big, which was nice.
"If he was a monstrous bear, it would have been more scary."