Kejimkujik Seaside - Park Open to Visitors Beginning Saturday 


July 5, 2019 – Human and wildlife safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Parks Canada takes action to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, to ensure the well-being and safety of both.

Parks Canada is reopening Kejimkujik National Park Seaside (Port Joli, NS) to visitors on Saturday, July 6. The safety and risk factors are carefully considered when making decisions to reopen a park/trail. The decision to reopen Kejimkujik Seaside was made after monitoring efforts by Parks Canada staff indicated a decrease in recent bear activity along our trails and beaches. Key indicators of reduced bear activity include measures of fresh bear signs and direct observations.

The black bear population at Kejimkujik Seaside is healthy, thanks to the largely undisturbed habitat and abundant food supply. The increased activity being observed in June was not unusual.

Parks Canada reminds visitors to observe the following standard guidelines:
• properly dispose of garbage in bear-proof bins located at the trail head
• keep pets on a leash at all times, and
• report any bear sightings to Parks Canada Duty Officer at 902-682-2598

Parks Canada appreciates the cooperation of visitors, local residents, and community members. By respecting these guidelines, we all contribute towards coexisting with the wildlife and protecting the diverse species that make this place so special.

Parks Canada will continue to monitor the situation and communicate changes to bear activity.

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Wildlife Safety

You will not be alone in the wilderness. The chance to observe wild animals as they go about their natural lives is one of the most fascinating experiences that Canada’s national parks have to offer. Along with this opportunity, however, comes the responsibility to treat wild animals with the respect they deserve, and need.

  • All the wild animals you encounter in Kejimkujik are potentially dangerous if cornered, approached too closely, or harassed.This is especially important at Kejimkujik Seaside, where seals may come close to shore.
  • Do not feed any wildlife, and take care that your food and garbage are secured so as not to attract animals to your campsite.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Black bears and coyotes are present at the inland and coastal portions of Kejimkujik. Read You are in Bear Country and Coyotes and Hiking Safety or get the information at the Visitor Centre.
  • Insects

    During the spring and summer you need to be prepared for biting insects such as blackflies and mosquitoes. Cover up or wear specially designed bug jackets. Use insect repellent. Learn more about the prevention and treatment of West Nile Virus (Public Health Agency of Canada).

    Poison Ivy

    There are areas in Kejimkujik where you will find poison ivy, a climbing plant of the sumac family. It grows on sandy, stony, or rocky shores, sprouts in thickets, in clearings, and along the borders of woods. The sap of the plant contains an oily resin that causes an irritating inflammation of the skin in most people. Learn more about about poison ivy (Health Canada).

    Ticks

    Blacklegged Tick
    Blacklegged tick

    Blacklegged (deer) tick and Lyme disease

    Blacklegged ticks and the bacteria that cause Lyme disease are known to be present in mainland Nova Scotia, including Kejimkujik. From April to November, there is a small chance of being exposed to Lyme disease if bitten by an infected blacklegged (deer) tick. Lyme disease is a serious illness, however, it's easy to prevent and treat when caught early.

    For more information on Lyme disease, blacklegged ticks, and how to protect yourself from tick bites while enjoying the outdoors, please visit the following resources:

    The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Lyme Disease Fact Sheet
    Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources: Tick Information

    Dog tick

    Dog ticks are also known to be present at Kejimkujik. Unlike Blacklegged ticks, Dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease. The presence of Dog ticks is very weather-dependent. Dog tick numbers decline when hot summer weather begins (often late June - early July) and remain present at reduced levels through the summer.

    Bears

    Black bears are opportunists, always on the lookout for "easy" calories. Once they find human food or garbage (if they become food-conditioned), they continue to seek it out from backpacks, picnic tables, coolers, etc. If they become accustomed to humans, their natural fear of people fades and they take more chances to find food rewards. These "spoiled bears" are unpredictable and may be aggressive. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to manage habituated, food-conditioned black bears. These bears often pay with their lives for human mistakes. The only true solution is not to create "problem bears" in the first place by making sure all food, trash and other possible bear attractants are stored properly. Read more at Learn more by visiting the page "You are in Bear Country" (Parks Canada). 

    Coyotes

    Parks Canada is working with experts in coyote behaviour, wildlife management, and human behaviour and education to develop and implement best practices for public safety. Visitors to any park or natural area should be aware of the risk of wildlife encounters.

    Here's what you can do to improve your personal safety:

    • Do not feed coyotes and be sure to properly dispose of garbage and other food sources. Coyotes that have access to our food lose their fear of people.
    • Hike with friends or carry a solid walking stick.

    If you see a coyote at a distance

    • Stay back. Do not approach the animal.
    • Watch it carefully to assess its behaviour (e.g. Is the animal following you, acting without fear, openly aggressive, fearful, wary, etc.?)

    If the coyote approaches or is close by

    • NEVER run away. (Coyotes are capable of running much faster than humans.)
    • Maintain your distance by walking away slowly. Do not turn your back.
    • Stay together and try to scare the animal away.
    • Make noise, swing sticks, and generally act big and aggressive.

    If a coyote attacks

    • Fight back. Shout, swing a stick, throw stones, use whatever is available to defend yourself.

    Report all coyote sightings to Parks Canada staff. If approached by a coyote, report the incident immediately.

    To learn more:

    Canadian Wildlife Federation
    Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources