Bear Safety & Tips
British Columbia is Bear Country, and the North Shore Mountains are prime Black Bear Habitat. Whether you're walking along the Baden Powell Trail or Hiking on Cypress Mountain, you may encounter a black bear. Black bears are most active from May to December. Their constant search for new food sources may draw them closer to urban areas, often crossing busy pedestrian areas. Seeing a bear in its natural habitat can be a memorable experience during your B.C. vacation, but please respect and help protect our bears. In most situations, bears are predictable, and they are naturally shy and submissive animals.
Understanding these 'bear smart' tips will help keep bear encounters positive and free from conflict.
- Never feed a bear. Either intentionally or unintentionally -by not disposing of garbage in a bear-proof container. Bears' keen sense of smell can detect barbecue or picnic aromas from a considerable distance.
- Hike in groups. Shout loudly from time to time to let a bear know you are there so it can avoid you.
- Give bears plenty of space. Do not approach. No one should try to entice, pet or pose for a photo with a bear. Take pictures with a telephoto lens from a distance.
- If you encounter a bear, remain calm. Back away slowly while facing the bear. Talk in a low, calm voice to the bear so that it can identify you as a human and non-threatening.
- If a bear approaches you, speak firmly. Hold your ground. Face the bear and look directly at it. If a black bear becomes persistent, continue to stand your ground. If you have pepper spray, prepare it for use. Do not play dead. Do not run. The bear may bluff charge. If a black bear attacks, fight back with any weapon you can find including stones or branches.
Be Prepared, Know the Bear Safety Tips!
Bear Safety & Tips
Photos: J. Koeman