A look at how to avoid a bear encounter after fatal attack in Banff National Park

BANFF, Alta. — A couple and their dog were killed on the weekend in a grizzly bear attack in the wilderness of Banff National Park in Alberta. Here's a look at how to avoid an encounter in bear country:

Make noise: Call out, clap, sing or talk loudly near streams, dense forest or berry patches, on windy days or in areas of low visibility.

Watch for fresh bear signs: Tracks, droppings, diggings, torn-up logs, turned-over rocks or a large dead animal could all be signs that a bear has been in the area. Leave the area.

Keep your dog on a leash or leave it at home: Dogs can provoke defensive behaviour in bears.

Travel in groups: Research has shown groups of four or more are less likely to have a serious bear encounter.

Stay on the trails: Use officially marked trails and travel during daylight hours.

Pay attention to your surroundings: Do not wear headphones or earbuds on the trails.

Carry bear spray and know how to use it: Bear spray can be effective with some bears when used properly. Keep your backpack, poles and other equipment that could provide protection.

Try to stay calm if you do encounter a bear: Screams or sudden movements can trigger an attack. Don't run. Pick up small children and stay in a group. Speak to the bear calmly and firmly. Back away slowly.

Source: Parks Canada/Alberta Parks

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press