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Campers are being reminded to be bear safe in the outdoors

Be aware and keep campsites and other areas free of things that attract bears. The reminder comes as many of Saskatchewan’s campgrounds are in bear country.

Proper food storage, cooking methods and garbage disposal are critical to keeping it safe in the bear wilderness.

Ministry of the Environment representatives emphasize that these animals live in the wild and they can be unpredictable and dangerous. If bears begin to connect humans with food sources then they become a public safety risk.

If you encounter a bear, officials say to keep your distance and do not try to scare the animal away or handle the situation yourself. Oftentimes, animals will move on without any intervention.

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In a campground:

-Never cook or eat in your tent.

-Don’t store food in tents or tent trailers.  Store food in air-tight containers in the trunk of your vehicle.

-Place all garbage in the containers provided. Do not burn or bury scraps.

-Clean fish only at designated fish-cleaning stations.

-Keep your pet on a leash.

-Keep young children close at hand, especially at dawn and dusk.

-Use a flashlight at night.

If a bear enters a campground:

-Stay calm. Do not run.

-Do not harass or chase the bear.

-If the bear is at a distance, calmly place all food in your vehicle.

-Get into your vehicle and report the incident to staff.

Officials remind that it is illegal to feed or to leave food out for a bear. This will only invite trouble to the campground. Bears that are fed lose their fear of humans and often have to be destroyed.

New regulations also prohibit the feeding of bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes. There are fines under the new rules for failure to manage food and garbage while camping. This rule does not apply to the use of bait for licensed hunting or trapping purposes.

If you have an encounter with an aggressive bear call the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or from your SaskTel cell phone at #5555.

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To report concerns about nuisance bear(s), contact the ministry’s general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224 or by email at [email protected].

More information about bears and bear safety is available at at the government website.

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