Parks Canada urges tourists to avoid getting close to bears

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - SEAN MAC­DOUGALL

Vis­i­tors to Cape Bre­ton High­lands Na­tional Park are try­ing to get friend­lier with lo­cal bears, and that’s prov­ing to be a prob­lem. Park staff have been notic­ing an in­crease of traf­fic stop­ping to look at bears – caus­ing what they of­ten re­fer to as “bear jams”.

“We have seen bears very close to the shoul­der of the road and peo­ple are stop­ping,” said Erich Muntz, Vis­i­tor Safety Co­or­di­na­tor for Parks Canada.

In some cases, park vis­i­tors ap­proach­ing th­ese wild an­i­mals are also at­tempt­ing to feed them. Muntz said this ac­tiv­ity is against both park rules and the law. Any­one caught feed­ing wildlife in a Cana­dian na­tional park can face a first of­fence fine of at least $5000.

An­other com­pli­ca­tion with bear jams is that some bears are also moth­ers with their cubs. Muntz has said that the moth­ers can be­come un­pre­dictable in this sit­u­a­tion.

Park staff have been in­creas­ing pa­trol on the Cabot Trail, par­tic­u­larly on the western side where most of the bear jams are oc­cur­ring.

There are cur­rently no re­ported in­juries from park vis­i­tors in­ter­act­ing with the bears.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.