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                                                            Bear safety

There are 2 species of bears that live in Alberta, the Black bear the we happen to see every once in awhile whether we are at work or not, and the Grizzly bear, although many people enjoy seeing bears they can and are very dangerous, bear attacks in Alberta are rare but they do happen. Bears are opportunistic feeders eating what is readily available the search for food by exploring and rummaging all possible food sources (Plants, remains of another animals kill, Garbage that has be carelessly discarded and human food)

Although bears are unique with there own personalities they display patterns of a behaviour that every one should be aware of. Bears are a solitary animal, except during a brief mating period which runs from May to the end of July. There are no hard /fast rules when it comes to dealing with bear, bears react to humans in different ways and in different situations

Bears are curious, if they smell a human they usually leaves very quickly, but first it may stand-up to get a better view, sniff the air, or circle down wind, a bolder bear would likely display the same kind of threat stance that it would show another bear such has huffing, panting and growling. It may even slap the ground with his paws or make a bluff charge, if he does make a bluff charge do not run, walk backwards slowly, keeping an eye on the bear but not looking into his eyes. The purpose of making a bluff charge is to establish dominance with out fighting, thus avoiding injury.

While working in bear country, be alert and aware of your surroundings, look ahead, check on wind direction, if you have a helper have your helper glance around every so often,

INCASE OF AN ATTACK

Do not run from a bear, you can not out run it, Talk quietly to the bear and slowly back up, give the bear enough time and room to leave on his own, if the bear continues to move toward you drop any personal items to distract the bear

look for and climb a suitable tree, get at least 15 off the ground, remember all black bears can climb trees but by climbing a tree may make the bear feel less threatened

If the bear presses the attack use bear spray in his eye, this may cause the bear to stop the attack giving you time to get away

If no escape is possible and the bear has knocked you to the ground, roll yourself into a cannon ball position and play dead. Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms, stay in this position until the bear leaves.    Thanks to R. Michaud.
 

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