Bear guardians kept busy in Banff National Park
Parks Canada to consider hiring more bear guardians to patrol Highway 93 south
Bear guardians in Banff National Park say they are busier than usual trying to get people to keep their distance from wildlife.
The six guardians patrol Highway 1A from Lake Minnewanka to Bow Summit as well as parts of Highway 93 north.
Their job is to break up bear jams, which is a traffic jam caused by tourists stopping to look at bears, or to educate visitors about the area's wildlife.
Supervisor Mireille Rousseau says they've come across one person who came within three metres of a grizzly bear, and some others were too close to a big bull elk.
"People are really intent and quite focused on getting photographs," she said. "And I just wonder sometimes if they're the pressure of wanting to get that out and maybe on a Facebook or just getting it out to friends really quickly might be pushing people to take undue risk."
Rousseau says the bears are coming back down into the Bow Valley now to eat buffalo berries, so visitors need to be very careful.
Parks Canada is now looking at whether it needs to hire more bear guardians to patrol Highway 93 south.