Bears may be encountered throughout many parks during the summer months. Bears are not tame, gentle or cuddly; they are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
Although most bears are simply travelling through and make every effort to avoid humans, a bag of garbage or some unattended food on a picnic table may be irresistible to their keen sense of smell.
A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear
Don't be a contributor to food-conditioning.
Bears that scavenge food begin to associate food with humans, and become "food-conditioned." Food-conditioned bears lose their natural fear of humans and become a threat to park visitors as they roam through the park in search of an easy meal.
There is little or no chance of correcting a food-conditioned bear and Park Rangers are forced to destroy them when they become aggressive towards humans.
Avoiding Dangerous Encounters with Bears
There are some simple precautions you must take to prevent the food-conditioning of bears and avoid dangerous bear encounters.
- Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife.
- Reduce or eliminate odours that attract bears. At the campground, store food in air-tight containers in your RV or car trunk.
- Bear caches must be used if they are available at the park.
- Pack out all your garbage. Store garbage with your food, out of reach of bears. Do not bury garbage or throw it into pit toilets. Only paper and wood may be burned: plastics, tinfoil, and food items do not burn completely and the remains will attract bears (besides creating an unsightly mess). Storing garbage in bear-proof containers is recommended.
- Cook and eat well away from your tent.
- Clean up immediately and thoroughly. Never leave cooking utensils, coolers, grease or dish water lying around. Dispose of dish water by straining it and then throwing it into a gray water pit or pit toilet. Solids should be packed out with the garbage.
- The odours of cosmetics, toothpaste and insect repellent can attract bears. These should be stored out of reach with your food and garbage, never in your tent. Leave strongly perfumed items at home.
- Obey all closures and warnings
This information is from: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/misc/bears/bearsaf.html