Highway 40 is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Kananaskis in Alberta and the beauty can easily be compared to the more famous national parks Banff and Jasper. The road is closed during winter and opens annually mid-June for through traffic, one one of my highlights every year. I always look forward to be able to drive this stretch.
It is not uncommon to encounter wildlife in this area and we were lucky to encounter both grizzly and moose this day. The grizzly below was feasting on wildflowers just 500 meters past the trail head of the most popular family hike in the area. I guess the hikers had no idea what lured further downhill! I noticed the trail is now closed to the public due to bear activity.
I got a picture of the grizzly from the side as well where the characteristic hump on its back was very prominent. I find the hump the easiest way to differentiate between a black bear and a grizzly. It is a common mistake to think that black bears are black, which is not always the case so only using colour can be misleading.
I recently read a concerning article I would like to share with you. There has been observed an increasing number of visitors feeding wildlife from their cars in the national parks in the Canadian Rockies, especially bear and wolf. Please do not feed wildlife! This is endangering the animal in several ways. It is causing the animal to become habituated to cars and roads increasing the risk of collision and death for the animals. It is also causing the animals to be too familiar with people and they start associating people with food, it happens that bears have to be put down due to this.
If you see someone feeding a bear, officials ask that you write down their licence plate and, if it’s safe to do so, take a photo or video of the unlawful feeding and the person or vehicle involved. It can then be reported to 1-888-WARDENS (927-3367).
You can read more about a visitor to Banff National Park being fined 1.000$ for feeding bears on Calgary Herald.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment, we’d love to hear what you think. Are there bears in the area where you live? What precautions do you take to prevent an encounter?