Bear caught on camera

Contributed Rob Swart

A large bear was caught on camera enjoying the sunshine on Father's Day.

Rob Swart posted the video to the Vernon & Area Community Forum on Facebook Sunday morning.

The bear was spotted close to BX Elementary School on East Vernon Road near the creek, he said.

This could be just one of four bears in the area, according to a Vernon resident. "There are three or four there. A mom with two cubs and a lone male," one woman posted on the forum.

With bears in the area, it's important to remember to always keep an eye on your children and be aware of your surroundings.

Always pack bear spray when exploring nature.

If you encounter a bear:

  • Stay calm. If the bear sees you, talk in a low, calm voice and then regardless if it has seen you or not.
  • Back up slowly. Never turn your back on a bear, or run. Running could trigger an attack.
  • Do not stare. The bear will see a direct stare as a challenge.
  • Give it space. Make sure it has a way to get away, and that you are not blocking access to a bear’s cubs or its food.

If a bear approaches you or charges:

  • Do not run
  • Use your bear spray as it approaches
  • Make sure you know how to use bear spray

Play dead or fight back:

  • Defensive attack. Usually, bears charge or attack because they are feeling threatened. Use your bear spray. If you don’t have bear spray and the bear makes contact with you – roll on your stomach, cover the back of your neck, remain still and play dead, they will lose interest and leave. Do not run.
  • Predatory attack. In rare cases, a bear may see a human as prey and stalk you along a trail. In these cases, try to escape into a building, car or up a tree.  If you cannot escape and the bear charges, use your bear spray, lacking that, use anything at your disposal to fight off the bear (rocks, sticks, hiking poles).

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