Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bear Safety Advice from Canada

I found a Parks Canada site describing how to protect yourself from bears. This because a woman was attacked (and survived) by a grizzly in Alberta and a man was attacked (and killed) by a black bear in Saskatchewan. Here is Parks Canada's advice and my commentary (I deleted a lot of commentary - it may have been true enough but it was a little mean-spirited).

The best thing to do is... AVOID an encounter.

Bears are extremely sensitive to the stress of human activity. You can actually help protect these animals by avoiding encounters with them.

Make noise! -easy for Koreans.
Watch for fresh bear sign.
Keep your dog on a leash at all times. -not many pet dogs here.
Travel in groups. -easy for Koreans
Never approach a bear. (Always maintain a distance of at least 100 metres).
Make noise! Let bears know you're there.

Call out, clap hands, sing or talk loudly especially near streams, dense vegetation and berry patches, on windy days, and in areas of low visibility. (Some research shows that bear bells are not enough).

Watch for fresh bear sign. Tracks, droppings, diggings, torn-up logs, turned-over rocks are all signs that a bear has been in the area. Leave the area if the signs are fresh.

Keep your dog on a leash at all times or leave it at home. Dogs can provoke defensive behaviour in bears.

Travel in groups if possible and never let children wander.

Use officially marked paths and trails and travel during daylight hours. If you come across large dead animals, leave the area immediately and report it to Park Wardens.

Dispose of fish offal in fast moving streams or the deep part of a lake, never along stream sides or lake shores.
- i don't think there's much fishing in Chirisan. Still, it's time for another reminder to clean up your litter. I would probably make this mistake myself: throwing away apple cores and other biodegradables. They will degrade but also attract bears to the trail.

I hope this helps any Chiri hikers.

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