As a national park visitor, you share this natural area with bears and other wildlife that depend on it for their survival.

Although bears are naturally wary of humans, they are unpredictable. By following the tips below, you’ll help us keep the “wild” in wildlife along with protecting the Park’s black bear population.

Warning

  1. Do not feed bears — Feeding wildlife in a national park is illegal

    Once bears become accustomed to being fed by people, they stop looking for their natural foods and lose their fear of humans. This makes them more likely to be dangerous, creating a public safety issue.

  2. Leave no trace — keep food smells to a minimum
    • Properly store the items below in your vehicle instead of your tent or tent-trailer as they attract wildlife:
      • Food and food-related items (such as packaging, dishes and coolers)
      • Items containing artificial scents (such as soap, lotions, toothpaste, etc.)
    • Properly dispose of cooking water
      • Use sinks instead of pouring it on the ground
    • Properly dispose of your garbage – this includes food scraps and other biodegradable items
      • Use the Park’s animal-proof garbage bins
      • Do not dispose of garbage in your fire pit

Bear encounters

If you see a bear

  • Remain calm and observe its behaviour. Does it have cubs? Is it protecting food? How far away is it? Does it have an escape route?
  • Do not look directly at the bear
  • Talk in a low tone and walk away slowly, still facing the bear
  • Do not run; do not climb a tree
  • Do not feed

If a bear approaches you

  • Get bear spray ready
  • Make yourself large, make noise, throw rocks
  • If in a group, gather together
  • Stand up to the bear
  • If the bear approaches within 7 metres (25 ft), use bear spray

Black bear attacks

There are two types of attacks: defensive and predatory. Recognizing each type will help you react appropriately.

Defensive bears are protecting food or cubs. They may huff or clack their jaw, bluff charge and/or swing their head from side to side. Predatory bears stalk quietly, or attack at night.


If a bear attacks

Defensive attack:

  • Use bear spray
  • Do not run or turn - stand up to the bear
  • Raise your arms; make yourself large
  • If the bear knocks you down, play dead
  • Protect your head and neck with hands and arms

Predatory attack:

  • Use bear spray
  • Do not run or turn - stand up to the bear
  • Raise your arms; make yourself large
  • If the bear knocks you down, do not play dead
  • Fight with whatever you have