“It’s important to remember that these are wild animals and can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.”
As the camping season is in full swing, the Department of the Environment is reminding campers to watch out for bears and keep sites free of attractants.
Many Saskatchewan parks and campgrounds can be found in bear country, with occasional bears roaming around. Food storage, cooking methods, and garbage handling are essential for safe camping in areas where bears can live and operate.
âIt’s important to remember that these are wild animals and can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous,â said Matthew Tokaruk, wildlife biologist at the Department of the Environment. âTake the necessary safety precautions in areas where there may be a greater chance of encountering bears or other predatory animals. “
The ministry confirmed at Moose Jaw Express that there have been no bear sightings near Buffalo Pound Provincial Park or in the Moose Jaw area.
When bears begin to associate food sources with humans, they become a risk to public safety. If you do encounter a bear, keep your distance and don’t try to scare it or deal with the situation on your own. Most often, the animals will move without any intervention.
In a campsite :
- Never cook or eat in your tent
- Never store food in tents or tent trailers. Store food in airtight containers in the trunk of your vehicle
- Place all waste in the containers provided. Do not burn or bury waste
- Clean fish only at designated fish cleaning stations
- Keep your pet on a leash
- Keep young children close at hand, especially at dawn and dusk
- Use a flashlight at night
If a bear enters the campsite:
- Stay calm. Do not run
- Do not harass or chase the bear
- If the bear is at a distance, calmly place all food in your vehicle
- Get into your vehicle and report the incident to staff
âNever feed bears and never leave food for a bear, it is illegal and you will get in trouble for yourself, other campers and the bear,â Tokaruk said. âBears that have been fed by humans lose their natural fear of humans and often have to be destroyed. “
New regulations prohibit feeding bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes. These regulations were implemented to help alleviate growing concerns about the access of dangerous wild animals to food of human origin. This includes feeding these animals on the side of the road.
Failure to handle food and garbage while camping can result in fines under the amended regulations, the ministry said.
This prohibition does not apply to the use of bait for authorized hunting or trapping purposes, the conduct of agricultural activities or the operation of authorized landfills.
If you encounter an aggressive bear and / or public safety is threatened, call the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or from your SaskTel cell phone at # 5555. To report concerns about nuisance bears, contact the ministry’s general information line at 1-800-567-4224 or email [email protected]
Additional information on bears and bear safety is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/wildlife-issues.