We had been instructed by our coach driver to shout if we saw any wildlife out of the windows as we travelled down the highway on our way to the town of Jasper.
You can imagine the excitement and uproar that reacted to the first call of ‘BEARS’!
The coach driver pulled into the side of the road so that we could all look into the bush filled forest. Eyes peeled and quick scanning brought disappointed sighs, when suddenly a brown hump, a furry shape appeared and we were off again. The buzz in the coach whipped up into a frenzy with questions whispered, “Did you see it? Where was it?”
The coach driver, who was obviously used to this, kindly backed up the coach and yes there it was; a light coloured brown bear hiding in the trees. Click, click, clickerty click went the cameras and mobile phones.
I have to admit I didn’t see much of this bear from my vantage point but a few metres down the road a few cars had pulled in and people were stepping out of their cars and pointing down below the highway barrier.
Again the coach driver pulled in and tried to back up as a black bear was sighted walking along the roadside but unfortunately for us, away from the coach.
I managed to see it plod away in the opposite direction but couldn’t capture a photo of it.
By now we were really in the mood for seeing bears and everyone in the coach was standing up with their eyes peeled.
Then it happened! At the side of our coach a black bear decided quite nonchalantly to walk in our direction sniffing, scrounging and searching for something edible to eat. This time, I was thrilled to get a photo and my lovely husband videoed it as well.
Hugely satisfied with this little piece of wonder, we drove on with the knowledge that we had seen real, live, wild bears in Canada! Magic!
However, on a more serious note; the people who had climbed out of their cars to get a closer look and who had run after the bears were being a bit naïve. These bears were wild and if they took a dislike to the commotion and lashed out in some way, there could be dire consequences.
If any tourist was hurt by a bear then that bear would be tracked down and killed by the park rangers. Just something to think about!