Watch Out for Wild Animals!, Jasper National Park
No, this is not TV and the wild animals may get close to humans, because they are used to seeing them. Regardless, these are still wild animals that can hurt and even kill someone.
This is especially the case if you see a young animal, like a bear. It's mother is probably not too far away and may become quite protective of her offspring. You really don't want to be around when this happens. If you are in a car; get into it and get out of harms way!
Yes they may be cute - you may feel the desire to take pictures of them - you may want to even pet them.
Always remember that they are wild animals. The animals in the park always seem to be in their rutting time. Each animal has it's own time.
Never feed the animals. A fed bear is a dead bear!
Not only are they dangerous wild animals but it's illegal to feed them.
The biggest danger to bears and other wild animals in the National Parks is tourists.
I was in the parking lot at Miette Hot Springs last summer, when a couple of young Swiss tourists came up to me, perhaps because I'd just come down from a hike and was carrying all kinds of heavy-duty gear. I guiess they thought I knew what I was doing.
They excitedly told me they'd just met a bear on the Old Springs trail, not more than a couple of hundred meters from the parking lot. When they saw it, the bear started to approach them, and they decided it must have been after the apples in their packs, so they dropped them and started back. Of course the bear ate the apples, then came looking for more. It followed them all the way back to the parking lot before it stopped at the entrance, frightened of all the vehicles and people. The Swiss kids got a nice photo, and a bear story to tell when they get home, but they really had no comprehension of what they'd done.
Bears learn quickly, and that bear now knows that the next set of tourists who come by will have food and that the way to get it is to approach them. If they don't deliver, the bear will get annoyed. If it attacks them, or even if it just follows them back into the parking lot where there are more people around, the rangers will be called and the bear will be destroyed.
By feeding the bear, they killed it.
To heck with the tourists - save the animals by following the rules. Don't feed them, don't get out of your car if you see some by the road, and never approach them.
When you are driving into Jasper National Park, the posted speed limit will drop to 70km/h on some stretches of highway, and with good reason. These areas are areas where wildlife have been struck and killed on the highway. Please pay attention to this reduced speed limit to preserve the spectacular wildlife in the area. Some of these animals are very docile, and will not run out of the road if they see you coming, but will just stand there in the road.
I actually saw a semi truck speeding along, when there were clearly elk on the road, and didn't slow down until the last minute. The elk was stunned and stood in the middle of the road.
So again, please be aware and be careful!
When travelling within the Jasper National Park it is quite easy to come across lots of wildlife. There are lots of bears throughout the park and there is always a hint of excitement when you see one from your car. The temptation to take photos or video much closer is overwhelming. But thats what I did when someone else's camera may have startled the bear. The bear, about 40-50 ft away began to lunge forward towards us. We all scattered for our cars. Fortunately the bear may have been only staking its territory and didn't give chase. For saftey's sake you have to remain in your vehicle when veiwing bears!
Yes, they look nice. Yes, they look friendly. Yes, it would be nice to take a close up photo of them.
The Elk are use to humans but the are still wild. This one was walking through our campsite.The photo was taken about 10 feet from the washrooms and shower. Behind us there were 2 does hanging out by the water tap looking for water. Most people would ignore them while keeping an eye on them. At any time they could charge and you would have no chance at all.
This male could have thought we were threatening his harem (2 does behind us). These photos were taken with a zoom lens. We had a plan if it charged. Since we were on our way to the washroom, our plan was to take the photo from around the corner of the building so we had time to get away.
Every year many tourists get attacked by wild animals. Most victims try to walk right up to the animals (3-4 feet away) for a photo opportunity. These are the people that get hurt.
If you see a red collar around the neck of an Elk, it means this animal has previously attacked somebody and is considered an aggressive animal.
I did see some critters - some even in the road just standing there waiting for me to slow and stop .... but driving and phtography don't always go together at the same time. I did manage to snap a picture of one of their typical animal shaped signs ........ they're reflective, so at night they pop right out at ya!.
As I was snapping this picture through the windsheild, a couple of bighorn sheep jumped into the road along the side of my car .......arrrgghhhh! Missed another shot!
While driving along the Icefield Parkway we had to pull into a look off point. The big horn sheep were all over the road & we couldn't get passed.
The sheep would not move because some silly people were feeding them.
They were young sheep who had quickly got used to people - it is dangerous to feed them as they will not learn to fend for themselves.
Wild animals are plentifull in Jasper NP & easily photographed from the safety of your car.
Just when you are becoming enthralled with the gorgeous mountain scenery in Jasper National Park, the road turns, and, as you come around the bend - whoa!! - wild animals on the road!!
These are bighorn sheep - a flock of what appear to be females and young "lambs" - and they just love to lick the salt off the roads. . . . or at least, I hope so. . . . . . one wouldn't want to think that they are licking oil or petrol.
Drive carefully in the Rocky Mountain Parks, and pay attention to the "wild animal" signs and the speed limits, you just never know what awaits you around the next bend in the road.
Surprisingly, elks are most dangerous animals in the park. They cause more injuiries than any other animals. Do not try to get close to them and take photos. Their behaviors are unpredictable, especially during their mating season.
The area abounds in wildlife and it's nearly impossible to miss seeing mountain goats, coyotes, elk, moose, even the occasional bear along the roadside at some point while drive this magnificent highway. Remember to respect the threat that humans pose to animal habitat and that large animals pose to human safety. Don't approach these animals any closer than 50 metres, or 100 metres in the case of a bear. The accompanying picture is of a raven looking for food hand-outs. Sorry, Buddy!
Along the road is the most likely place one will find an elk or to.
We did attempt to interview a elk and find out the inside word on Rudolph, the red nose reindeer. But alas not relation, and they were too stubborn to answer back.
I think most people know not to approach bears in the wild, but you may not be aware that elk, deer and moose can be quite aggressive too, especially during their rutting seasons, or mothers protecting their calves.
If you must have that perfect photo, stay in your car and invest in a zoom lens!
I'm sure you've heard this many times...don't feed the animals. They may appear tame, but if you are not careful, you could end up being injured or killed. So for your protection as well as their safety, take pictures from your car or at least 30 yards away.
This kind of bin are quite common inside all national parks, which keep the bears and other wild animals away from disposed human food and waste. You need to learn the way how to open the lid, it is a little bit tricky. :-)