EDMONTON — Jasper National Park is warning users there have been “numerous sightings” of grizzly and black bears recently.
“The animals may be using the townsite area to protect their newborns from older male bears. They are also finding food sources like elk calves and fresh grass readily available close to town,” the alert read, notifying the public also that Parks Canada are hazing bears away from the Jasper townsite and high-use areas.
It comes after the deaths of two southern Albertans in apparent bear attacks.
Parks Canada asks visitors to report any potential safety incidents to its dispatch line at 780-852-6155.
Experts advise first reducing your risk of a surprise encounter by travelling in groups, keeping dogs on a leash, leaving the area if you see fresh signs of a bear or dead wildlife, and carrying bear spray.
Anyone who spots a bear while in a car should continue driving.
If an encounter happens, experts advise trying to keep 100 metres away from the animal and staying calm, even if rears on its hind legs which bears do to identify something. You should remain still and talk calmly so as to not trigger what experts call a “bluff charge” or attack. Pick up children and as a group, back away slowly. If it is impossible to leave the area, wait until the bear leaves and keep a route out for it open.
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