Alberta's bears are waking up

Banff National Park shared a photo on social media showing a grizzly bear, believed to be Bear 122 (a.k.a. The Boss), on March 28.

Continuing winter weather makes it's easy to forget it's spring and the need for bear safety

Bear 122, a.k.a. The Boss, is seen in a file photo from 2013. (Parks Canada)

Don't let all the snow fool you, it's spring and the bears are waking up in Alberta. 

Banff National Park shared a photo on Twitter showing a grizzly bear, believed to be Bear 122 (a.k.a. The Boss), on March 28. 

It's a reminder to those out enjoying the winter wonderland to be vigilant, even if a well-known bear like The Boss doesn't seem too fussed about humans being around. 

"He's a bear that doesn't have that much concern for closeness to people, and unfortunately that sometimes can make people think he's a safe bear to be around," said bear expert Kim Titchener, who owns Bear Safety & More in Canmore.

"Every bear, just like people, [has] their own amount of space that they can take, with being around people and just how much exposure they have."

Get some friends

Titchener says it's important for those heading out for hikes, cross-country skiing or snowshoe trips to be aware. 

"Step 1 is get yourself a group of friends," she said. 

She recommends a group of four or more if you're hitting the trails, to make some noise and to carry bear spray somewhere that's easily accessible. 

"The key here with bears is just letting them know you're in the area," said Titchener. 

"If they don't know you're there, that's how people end up in trouble with bears."

Another bit of good advice around bears?

"No selfies. Let's try to have 2018 be the year of no selfies. That would be great."

A visitor to Jasper National Park takes a selfie with a wild black bear in the background. Parks officials are reminding visitors to keep their distance from wildlife. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)