With summer comes bear season, and Parks Canada would like to remind guests to stay safe while visiting Prince Albert National Park. Resource management officers with the park have indicated a healthy bear population in the area, so visitors are asked to exercise caution and follow the guidelines set out by Parks Canada.
Black Bear Country Safety Guides are available from the Visitor’s Centre, they provide tips on how to safely view wildlife and how to properly store food and animal attractants when camping.
Kevin Ferrie, Prince Albert National Park Visitor Safety Coordinator, has suggested a few ways as to how visitors can avoid contact with bears.
“if you’re camping, keep a very clean campsite. Keep all food, coolers, other attractive things such as pet food, or soaps, anything with an odor, locked in your vehicle or in a building if you can.
Don’t leave it where you’re camping, unattended. That will keep the bears from being drawn towards your campsite. If you’re out and about on the trails, working your way along the forest, anywhere you’re out and about in the wild, making noise is a good way to deter bears. Often if they hear you coming, they’ll get out of your way. Certainly, don’t startle them if you can”.
Parks Canada would also like to remind visitors that feeding wildlife is not only dangerous, it is also illegal.
“Its not their normal diet so they actually suffer from poor nutrition and, in addition, they become habituated to being around people. That can often lead to a conflict, which can result in the wildlife being relocated or having to be destroyed”, says Ferrie.
Parks Canada has focused efforts on educating the public about protecting wildlife and staying safe and making sure that individuals follow rules and regulations.
“The biggest thing we can do is try to keep our visitors safe and our wildlife”.