This is the sign that appears practically everywhere and when you choose to experience this country doing camping (sleeping overnight in a tent) and hiking in the parks (during the day), I assure you that you need to know what to do in case of encounters with bears.
First of all, bears in Canada go almost everywhere, including in cities.
Not so much in downtown Ottawa I would say, where it is certainly much more difficult, but in isolated towns in the middle of nowhere certainly they do.
Most campsites in Canada are purposedly very remote and wild, almost without facilities and services and deliberately located in parks and woods to give you a total camping experience in nature.
This is the place where it is easier to meet bears, but in fact they are also seen elsewhere as on the roads of parks and close to the woods.
Bears love berries and during the berry and flowering season (the Summer time) there are many more around.
The Canadian Government and the National Park Authority are very careful to safeguard the normal life of fauna and nature. Bears are therefore respected, protected and loved and efforts are aimed at teaching humans to live in peace with animals while respecting them.
You certainly must follow some guidelines and be cautious…For example never leave on a picnic table or in your tent food.
The food obviously attracts bears and I have also seen photos in which tourists went for a walk and left their food on a camping table and upon their return there was the bear in their seat.
First rule, it is illegal to feed bears or leave food for them and the Canada Park Authority says it is like sentencing them to certain death because human food kills wild animals.
Bears, unlike other animals, are also attracted by sweet smells like shampoo, shower gel and make up. The smell could attract bears which think you are ‘hiding’ some honey or sweets in your tent for example.
In most parks you can find dedicated metal containers where to store food and toilet products with a smell during your stay at the campsites and they obviously recommend not to camp to close to such containers.
The National Park Authority does not recommend leaving such items in your car as bears could try to find the way to ‘open’ your car and damage it irreparably.
Spotting a bear in the parks is a unique experience; it is one of the most beautiful creatures of our woods.
Bears generally do not attack humans but they may do it if they feel threatened.
If for example we spot a mother with the little ones and we enter her space otherwise they are usually more scared than you are and they usually run away.
Bears are fast too and faster than humans and they can reach up to 45 km per hour and they can climb too.
To try to avoid meeting a bear it is recommended to always stay on very busy forest roads that develop out of the woods and to move in large groups.
It is best to avoid going out in the evening, at night and early in the morning, even at low altitudes.
If you are approached by a bear, the tip is always to walk away calmly, returning if you need to where you came from.
If possible, it is best to keep an eye on the bear's attitude as you walk away and try to avoid turning your back at it.
Hiking in Canada can be risky, watch out for bears.