My name is Mercedes, and this is my very first year working with Spirit Bear Research Foundation as a Youth Intern!
My first day in the field was exciting because I was able to get off the boat at every sampling site to learn more about bears and bear safety. I also learned more about the different places we visited in my territory while gaining experience setting up the research sites. Throughout the day we saw many eagles, three killer whales, a ton of seals, and even a grizzly bear!
Throughout the training day I learned a lot of new information about bear safety. Here are a few highlights:
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Make noise so that the bear(s) knows that you’re there so that it isn’t startled
- Always have bear spray on hand
- If you do encounter a bear, make sure to respect their space to avoid conflict
As a last resort if you need to use bear spray:
- Know the wind direction and face in the same direction
- Make sure that bear is within 15ft so that the bear spray reaches it
- Take off safety clip and hold it in front of you so that your arm is horizontal to the ground (personally I like to hold the can with two hands to make sure that it is steady)
Practicing using bear spray.
Because of what I’ve learned I feel more comfortable in bear territory and know what to do if I encounter a bear! I’m super excited for the rest of the season and to work with the Bear Research crew!
Mercedes – Youth Intern