Banff National Park has issued an advisory that with the start of berry season, there is also an increased risk of bears in areas frequented by humans.
"Berry bushes border trails, roads and campgrounds. Black and grizzly bears are feeding on berries right now," the advisory stated.
Park officials advise that surprise a bear that is focused on berries increases this time of year. Hence they advise all nature-goers to:
• Make noise while on trails.
• Travel in tight groups.
• Trail running and cycling place you at much higher risk. Travel very slowly. Do not wear earbuds.
• Carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible, and know how to use it.
• Watch for fresh bear signs such as scat. Be especially careful near berry patches.
• If you see a bear, stay calm, back away slowly
and leave the area. Never run.
You should also report any incidents to the Resource Conservation office at 403-762-1470.
However, it's not just the National Parks in Alberta that are warning nature seekers to be aware of their surroundings. Recently, Kanaskis Country also issued two bear warnings last week, which also resulted in trail closures. On June 29, numerous black bears were observed in the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. On June 28, a closure of the Rawson Lake Trail & Sarrail Ridge Route was announced due to the presence of bears. That closure is in effect until further notice.