Parks Canada urges visitors to #keepwildlifewild

A bear wanders down Highway 263 in Prince Albert National Park. Herald file photo.

A pair of social media hashtags started in US national parks are gaining attention north of the border.

#safeselfies and #KeepWildlifeWild are two social media hashtags originating down south that have since attracted users in Cada. The interpretive staff at Prince Albert national park supports the movement and is promoting the message of wildlife safety through various programs and brochures throughout the national park.

“We love animals and we want to protect them. I think that’s something that all visitors have in common,” said Lauren Markewicz, interpretation officer in a press release.

“We want to appreciate the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat.”
Wildlife and birds can be seen around the Waskesiu townsite and on trails in wilderness areas. Elk, deer, red fox, bears and coyotes are often spotted. The best time to view many mammals is at dawn or dusk.

Wildlife conservation staff is stressing the necessity of keeping a safe distance from wildlife at all times.

“Safe wildlife viewing practices protect humans and animals from unwanted interactions,” the park said in a press release.

“If you notice an animal lifting their heads to look at you, you are too close and should back away. Nature photographers might want to invest in a zoom lens for their camera. The technique of digiscoping with binoculars and camera or cell phone can also capture the appearance of being close to an animal while remaining a safe distance away.”

The national park is encouraging people to promote safe wildlife viewing activities using the hashtags #safeselfies and #KeepWildlife Wild.. #PANP, #waskesiu and #parkscanada can also be used to share the location of your experience with others. More wildlife-human safety tips are available at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/conseils-tips/faune-wildlife.

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