There’s still snow on the ground out in Banff, but one definite sign of Spring is here. The first bear sightings have occurred. A few weeks ago a black bear was sighted on Tunnel Mountain Drive. Every traveller to the Rockies wants to see a bear, and most leave these sightings unscathed; but, it’s important to remain cautious. If you’re prepared you don’t need to worry too much. Last fall we were able to catch a family of bears living up by Sunshine Meadows. They were often near the road and happy to pose for some pictures for the stopping cars.
If you see a bear while driving, don’t get out of the car. Aside from the obvious dangers (such as being mauled alive), it socializes the bears to humans and that can have dangerous consequences for humans and the bears if they start entering towns and more populated areas.
This time of year can be especially dangerous as the bears are waking up from their winter slumber in search of food. Parks Canada recommends carrying bear spray when on trails (pepper spray used against a bear in case of a dangerous encounter) and always hiking in groups.