Alberta Park officials have issued a bear warning for the entire Kananaskis Country west of Calgary.
In an advisory, Alberta Parks says the increase of bears seen is the area is due to an excellent crop of berries this year.
If you’re visiting the back country this summer and see a bear please report it to Kananaskis Country Emergency Services at 403-591-7755.
Officials have listed a few handy tips on how to avoid bears and what to do if you run into a bear.
Best method to avoid bear encounters:
- Remain alert – Do no wear earphones while on trails.
Shouting regularly or singing loudly is far more effective than using bear bells.
- Watch for fresh bear signs. Tracks, scat and digs indicate that a bear has been in the area. Leave the area if the signs are fresh or if you encounter carrion.
Travel in groups and during daylight whenever possible.
Keep your dog on a leash or leave it at home.
Tips to remember if you encounter a bear:
- Stay calm – do NOT run
- Pick up small children and stay in a group.
- BE HUMAN. Speak to the bear calmly and firmly. This indicates that you are not a prey animal. Appear passive.
- If you have bear (pepper) spray, get your hands on it and be ready to use it. Take note of the direction and strength of the wind.
- Keep your backpack, hiking poles and other equipment – they can provide protection.