Brush up on bear awareness this spring

As bears become active again, it is essential to stay vigilant and understand how to prevent and manage encounters while engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, enjoying neighborhood trails or even staying home.

Conservation officers are reminding the public to:

  • Stay alert when outdoors. Make noise, travel in groups, keep children close and pets leashed, and listen and look at your surroundings. Watch for signs of bear activity such as tracks, scat, tree scratches and diggings. If signs look fresh, leave the area.
  • Carry bear spray, know how to use it and keep it accessible. Check the expiry date routinely.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not run. Remain calm, determine if the bear is aware of you and respond accordingly.

Learn more about bear safety at the Bear Fair, a free public information event in Whitehorse on Wednesday, May 17 from noon to 2:30 pm at LePage Park. Learn the fundamentals of bear behaviour, how to manage attractants and what to do if you encounter a bear.

An interactive bear safety talk and demonstration will take place at 12:10 pm where participants will be able to practice using inert bear spray.

Quick facts 
  • 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 food.

  • Put garbage, recycling and compost out on the morning of collection, not the night before.

  • You can also help keep bears out of communities and dangerous situations by securing attractants and storing them in hard-sided vehicles and trailers, bear-proof canisters, locked buildings or behind electric fencing.

  • Items that may lure bears onto your property or campsite include:

    • Garbage, compost & recycling
    • Birdfeeders & birdseed
    • Food, dishes and coolers
    • Pet food
    • Barbeques & smokers
    • Outdoor fridges & freezers
    • Petroleum products
    • Livestock & backyard chicken coops
    • Toiletries
    • Anything with a strong smell
  • If you see a bear frequenting a residential area, or a situation where wildlife or people could be at risk report it to the TIPP line at 1-800-661-0525 or submit an online report at:

Media contact 

Jordan Owens
Cabinet Communications
[email protected]

Linea Volkering
Communications, Environment
[email protected]  

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