Curious tourists get dangerously close to bears in Banff

Tourists take photos of a bear. Courtesy of Cynthia Berry.

CALGARY- Despite the extreme danger of getting up close to a bear, some curious tourists continue to push their luck in Banff National Park.

The animals have made their way closer to the townsite over the past month, searching for food. At least five have been spotted near Banff, but instead of taking in the view from afar some people are getting way too close.

Recently, Global News viewer Cynthia Berry snapped a photo of a disturbing scene along the Icefields Parkway: hordes of tourists, taking photos of bears just metres away.

Tourists take photos of a bear. Courtesy of Cynthia Berry.

“It was just kind of shocking,” Berry remembers. “As we were there, more and more cars were stopping, and kids were out there running, and it was just freaking me out.”

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Officials warn that safety should come first.

“If you’ve got a telephoto lens great. If you don’t have to stop that’s even better. We understand that seeing bears is the highlight for some people, but it’s that whole larger safety issue in terms of giving the bear space,” says Parks Canada spokesperson Michelle Macullo. “We really recommend 100 metres between you and a bear.”

Parks Canada has set up a website to track recent bear sightings. To report a bear sighting, call 1-888-WARDENS.


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