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REPORTING · 12th August 2013
Walter McFarlane
On Wednesday, July 24th, Kitimat Bear Aware gave a presentation to the community on Bear Awareness. It was held at the Community Room at Riverlodge.

“[The message was] basically to be bear safe all around our community, residential areas,” said Darcie Reid.

“Knowing what to do when they encounter a bear and not looking at the type of bear, but the behavior of it and also just managing attractants. Attractants are things which bring the bears to our homes and into town,” said Dana Amado.

Amado explained what people should do if they encounter a bear. It depends on the behavior the bear is portraying. A defensive bear is intimidated by noise and is as afraid of humans as we are of the bear.

“What you want to do is remain calm and never run, never ever run. Make sure you put your arms up, make yourself look big, look at the bear’s feet and move back slowly. A defensive bear will leave you alone,” said Amado.

She explained if it does not, you can use deterrents such as a whistle, a bear bell or bear spray. If a defensive bear does approach you, play dead, lying on your stomach and protecting your neck and your vital organs, rolling back onto your stomach if they push you over. The bear will normally get bored and leave you alone.

“A predatory bear is the more dangerous bear. It’s either a food conditioned or protecting its dominance. If it’s a predatory bear, do the same thing, you remain calm and don’t run. You want to make yourself look bigger now; you put your arms above your head and wave them. Look as aggressive as possible because this bear is probably going to attack. You want to show the bear, if he will attack, you will attack back and if this bear does advance, you can use your bear spray or air horn to scare the bear away, disorient him. If he does attack, you want to fight for your life and never give up, someone could come to the rescue,” said Amado.

The Kitimat Bear Aware Program will be holding a Barbecue on Wednesday August 14th from 11 until 2 in the green space between the library and the Centennial Building.