Stay Bear Smart and Safe Around Wildlife
Every spring, black bears and other potentially dangerous animals – such as cougars – move around to establish new territory and look for food. This is normal behaviour for wildlife, especially for younger animals, but it can result in safety issues for humans.
While seeing bears or other large predators can be very exciting, remember that these are wild animals and they can be dangerous.
In Saskatchewan, urban areas have been built along natural wildlife corridors such as rivers, forests and valleys. Wildlife traveling these traditional passageways can sometimes come into conflict with people and property.
Leaving garbage and pet food outdoors may attract bears, other predators and animals such as skunks. These creatures are looking for easy food, so it is recommended that you store garbage and pet food in a secure building or a bear-resistant container.
Remember to always take the necessary safety precautions when outdoors, particularly in areas where there is a higher risk of encountering predators, such as in the forest or within parks. While hiking or walking, keep your pet on a leash. An unleashed dog may aggravate a bear.
It is recommended that you carry bear spray and learn how to use it properly.
If you encounter a bear or other predator, keep your distance and do not try to scare the animal away or handle the situation yourself. Leave the area if you can. Most often, the animals will move on without any intervention.
In most cases, black bears will threaten but not attack. If attacked – defend yourself – DO NOT PLAY DEAD.
Anyone who finds themselves in a potentially dangerous situation with a large predator should contact their local Ministry of Environment office or call Saskatchewan’s 24-hour Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at-1-800-667-7561. SaskTel subscribers can also reach the TIPP line by dialing #5555 on their cell phones.
Additional information about predator safety is available at www.saskatchewan.ca.