Video shows what not to do when you see a bear
VANCOUVER -- When Tracy Hall spotted a bear while walking her dog at on Wednesday, she wasn't too concerned.
The bear was sniffing around a garbage can at Port Coquitlam's Hyde Creek Park.
But when someone approached the bear with what appeared to a camera, Hall started to get worried.
"It was like, 'Oh my God, what is he doing?'" Hall says as she describes the person, who appeared to be a teen, walking towards the bear.
"He had a camera, I don't know if he was taking pictures of it, or videotaping," Hall says.
Hall recorded the encounter on her smartphone, and shared the video online to remind people to keep their distance when they see bears.
This time of year, black bears are looking for food, because come fall, they'll be fatting up for hibernation.
Experts say if you're in an area where bears are known to frequent, you should carry bear spray, and if you do see a bear, give it space.
If possible, keep dogs on-leash.
"Bears don't like to be followed," says Ellie Lamb, an experienced bear guide and director of the North Shore Black Bear Society.
"To walk behind a bear and approach and pressure them that way, many bears will respond in a way that's defensive. They find that a bit threatening," Lamb explains.
Lamb says the majority of bear encounters are peaceful, but adds that's not always the case.
"As peaceful as they are, we need to allow them to be bears," Lamb advises.
Hall shares the sentiment, adding that bears often pay the price when humans get too close: "They're the ones that often get destroyed."
Luckily, Hall says the encounter she witnessed ended well, with the bear retreating into the woods.
Not sure what you should do when you encounter a bear? Here are some tips from experts.