Tag Archives: Bears

It’s a Bear!

I saw this lovely fellow standing next to the road leading from Wood Buffalo National Park. His coat was shiny and he was very healthy looking after his long winter sleep.

We stopped and then he stopped, and we looked at each other. He made no attempt to come closer, but just regarded us while I took pictures.

I am concerned at his lack of fear. Most of the bears in my locality quickly run away at the sight of humans, but I’m aware that on this particular road, tourists and locals alike will feed the bears, and they grow to expect that.

This is incredibly thoughtless and careless behaviour, because as the warning signs that are posted everywhere say, “A fed bear is a dead bear.” Bears need to be left alone to forage and to keep a healthy distance from humans.

Meet the Bruin Triplets

We recently encountered the Bruin triplets. As a precaution, we photographed them through our windshield – the photo quality suffered because the window was dirty and there’s also a lot of visible glare. The bears are coming into a lot of contact with humans however, and we think it’s best not to open windows or to stop and get out. The more minimal we can be, the better, because in the end, it’s the bears that pay the price for human thoughtlessness.

The bears? Well, they’re just being bears.

One of the bears was particularly explorative while the other two stayed close to mummy. They all appeared to be very healthy and well fed.

These bears were born during the winter and will stay with their mum for about the next 12-14 months until they become juveniles, at which time they will start their independent lives. Their mum will go on to find another mate and to give birth again.

But as with all young ones, right now they are completely adorable. 🙂

Mother’s Day Bears

On the weekend, M and I drove through Wood Buffalo National Park on our way to Fort Smith. We saw quite a few bison (frequently mislabelled as buffalo; the park has also retained the old inaccurate name) but lots of bears as well.

They have been out and around for about two to three weeks now and are fully awake.

I was surprised at how tame they are. This bear stayed in the road, unphased, as we carefully maneuvered around him. He looked hopefully at us as we passed.

There were others as well. This one stood up, also unbothered, as we slowed down to take his picture. There was no attempt to flee.

Another beautiful bear was curious enough to start walking towards us. We took the picture and pulled away.

I was dismayed to learn later that the reason why the bears seem so comfortable with people is that they are often being fed. And in a national park no less! Heartbreaking. As the saying goes, “a fed bear is a dead bear.” This park is huge (bigger than Switzerland) and there is limited access by vehicle, so park rangers will try to move bears that become too friendly into the back country. Unfortunately, some of them return and are then euthanized. All because human beings can’t stop being idiots.