With Spring here, the chances of you encountering a bear if you venture into their backyard is pretty good.

Kananaskis Region Parks Ecologist John Paczkowski says bears coming out of hibernation are making their way to where it's warmer and where there's a better chance of finding food.

"Right now it's still pretty cold and snowy up in the mountains and they're coming out of their dens and their looking that first bit of green up and green vegetation and that's happening at lower elevations. So we're going to see bears seeking out that kind of food source and get food into their belly's."

Paczkowski says if you head out into the bush and run into a bear, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

"Remain calm. Don't react, don't scream, don't run. Stand your ground. So, you've seen a bear. Stop. Assess your situation, prepare your bear spray and watch what the bear is doing. If the bear doesn't know you're there, it's probably best just to quietly back out of there the way you came. If the bear does spot you, let the bear know you're a person, by maybe talking in a fairly calm voice."

He says the same rules apply as always, make noise, carry and know how to use bear spray, travel in groups and keep your pets on a leash, or better yet, leave them at home, while going through bear country.

 

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