Conservation officers are reminding the public to be bear aware when enjoying the outdoors. Everywhere in the Yukon is bear country. Whether you are on trails, camping, paddling, gardening or out for a dog walk in your neighbourhood, take extra precautions to keep you, your loved ones and your property safe.
This year, we want to remind Yukoners of the following:
- Bears that are rewarded with human food sources often become a threat to public safety. They no longer fear people, houses or vehicles and may become more aggressive in their search for easily accessible food.
- Bears have an incredible sense of smell. Look around your property and remove or secure attractants such as barbeques, outdoor fridges and freezers, recycling, garbage, compost, gardens, bird feeders, pet food, livestock and chicken coops.
- Deter bears from your cabin or campsite by keeping a clean space and storing attractants like food, dishes, garbage and toiletries in bear safe ways.
- Be alert when outside. Travel in groups when possible, keep children close, pets on leash and make noise.
- Carry bear spray year-round. Keep it accessible and know how to use it. Check the expiry date before you head outside.
- Watch for signs of bear activity, including tracks, droppings, tree scratches and diggings. Leave the area if signs are fresh.
- If you encounter a bear, stop and remain calm. Do not run. Determine whether the bear is aware of you and respond accordingly.
Yukoners can learn more about bear safety, ecology and attractant management during the 2022 Spring Bear Fair. The event will take place at LePage Park in Whitehorse on May 18 from 12 pm to 2:30 pm and will include a bear spray demonstration.
Being bear aware and managing attractants is the best way to keep people and bears safe. Whether it be in your own backyard, on the trails or exploring the wilderness, be aware of the possible presence of bears, always carry bear spray and ensure attractants are properly stored and secured.
Minister of Environment Nils Clarke
Managing attractants at home or while camping is one of the most important things we can do to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Keep attractants in secure containers, vehicles, hard-sided trailers, bear-proof canisters, locked buildings or behind electric fencing.
Call the TIPP line at 1-800-661-0525 to report aggressive encounters with wildlife or a bear in a residential area.