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Powell River RCMP remind residents to be bear aware after grizzly encounter

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Powell River RCMP are asking hikers to be bear aware after a grizzly bear encounter.

Officers were called to a hiking group that had encountered the bear on the Inland Lake Trail. They say the hiking group was able to get to safety.

The bear could not be found and BC Conservation Officers came to the scene, according to police.

Being bear aware involves multiple approaches to avoid attracting or startling the bear, according to WildSafeBC.

They recommend checking for bear signs like scat, freshly overturned logs and tracks. Singing or talking while walking or hiking is recommended but bear bells are not because the high-pitched sound does not travel as far.

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“Be cautious around running water, thick brush or high wind that may mask your presence,” read a statement from WildSafeBC. “Be aware of your surroundings and do not use headphones when hiking, biking or running in bear country.”

Packing out what you pack in, keeping pets leashed and carrying bear spray are also recommended to prevent issues with bears in the backcountry, according to the group.

The group adds if you encounter a bear, stay calm and never run. If the bear is unaware, leaving quietly is the best course of action.

If seen by the bear, speak softly and quietly while slowly backing away and do not make eye contact, especially if it’s aggravated.

A free safety course can also be taken on the WildSafeBC website along with more information about human-wildlife interaction.

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