Photographer's Note

If you want to see wildlife in Banff National Park, you need to be on the road early in the morning late in the evening, or during rainy days. The best drive is from Lake Louise to Jasper, where this picture was taken. So you drive along and wherever a car has stopped, slow down to scrutinize the roadside. It there are more than two cars, there is certainly something to see. It there's only one, it could be just a physiological need of the driver.
The bears are certainly worth seeing, but once you've seen a few of them, the tourists are more entertaining. When the animal briefly disappears behind the shrubs, some parents send their kids to check if it’s still there... Some approach the animal in difficult terrain in order to get a better view.
No one should be under the impression that these are Teddy-bears. They are wild, they are big, and they are not afraid. Both black (60 to 250 kg) and grizzly bears (150 to 500 kg) are common and particularly in June, when the pastures at higher elevation are still covered in snow, they love to graze by the road.
Another show begins: a ranger arrives. He starts by asking everyone to return to the vehicle. After a while, he addresses the bear: “Hey, Bear!”. I guess the animal is expected to head for the forest, but of course most bears will politely reply “Hey, Mr. Ranger Sir!”. The call is then repeated using the amplification station aboard the pickup truck, and supported by sirens. That’s when most bears understand to seek cover, but if they don’t, small explosive charges are fired in their direction. The reason is that bears and tourists are not supposed to become too familiar with each other. You can see though that many visitors of the park don’t understand why the animals are chased away.
In this case it’s a black bear sow with three cubs. I watched her for about an hour and a half, from the car, waiting for her to return every time she was chased away. Unfortunately, she didn’t look at me any single time.

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Photo Information
Viewed: 2973
Points: 4
Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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