November 5th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 43
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With a little help, an elderly Hillcrest resident gets bear smart
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
A 93-year old Hillcrest woman’s desire to open her bear proof garbage can shows that you’re never too old to be bear smart.
But sometimes you need a little help.
Conservation officer John Clarke recently gave her the can after her old one began attracting bears, one of which damaged her property.
Unfortunately, the new can turned out to be proof against both bears and its new owner; her fingers weren’t long enough to get it open.
“I was having a heck of a time,” says the Hillcrest woman, who has asked not to be named. “I was standing there a half an hour pushing. My fingers are so darn weak; you know they’re ancient and I guess I couldn’t push enough.”
The resident contacted Clarke and related her problem.
“She phoned me and said I’m trying to be bear smart but I can’t open up this can,” says Clarke who took the can to Blacksmith Autobody in Hillcrest for a few modifications.
continued below...


Don From, spokes-person for Blacksmith Autobody, disassembled the can before attaching a rubber extension to the release lever.
“You’ve got to stick your thumb inside this tiny hole and then you have to push a lever to pop the top,” says From. “She couldn’t quite get enough leverage on it. It was a little too far inside. So I put a rubber plug on it for her to make it a little easier.”
The operation took about a half hour and From did it free of charge.
She phoned me the day after and was very grateful and happy,” says From. “Happy to help out, especially little old ladies.”
Clarke says the elderly resident has been consistently bear smart. Every season she goes out collecting apples and disposes of them safely. She’s also very happy with the new can and thankful for the individuals who’ve helped her.
“I can open it now,” she says. “[And] when you can’t get something done and people come along and give you a hand. It helps. And you realize there are nice people in the world.”
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November 5th ~ Vol. 84 No. 43
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