Dangers and safety in Canada

In the countryside bears can cause problems when encountered. Bears are usually looking for an easy meal and any food you may be carrying can offer a tasty treat. Make sure campsite food is kept hanging high in a tree away from the camp. Remember bears can climb trees so take this into consideration. Bears do not eat people. Coming into a conflict with a bear can be very dangerous and should always be avoided. Always try to be noticed by the bear so it doesn't become startled. Seek advice on dealing with a bear encounter from a national park warden.

A fed bear is a dead bear. If you feed a bear it will always come back for more and immediately looses its fear of humans. This is very dangerous and these bears will eventually loose their lives to a park warden. It is not advisable to feed any cute animals when camping or walking. They will eventually come back in the middle of the night to help themselves and often bring larger and less welcome friends.

In the northern parts of Canada mosquitoes and blackflies can be extremely irritating. Close fitting clothes and cap are recommended to avoid incessant itching. There are serious hazards from these insects but they can drive you mad.

There are some poisonous spiders in Canada such as Black Widow and the Brown Recluse Spider. Poisonous rattlesnakes, which can be found anywhere in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, are not often seen but do pose a serious threat if you are bitten.

If you have an allergy to wasps, bees or hornets, you should carry a kit with you.

Elk can prove to be dangerous especially males during rutting season and females whilst pregnant. They move at quite a speed and can cause people and vehicles serious damage. They should not be approached no matter how friendly they look.

Moose in some places can cause serious damage to vehicles and their occupants. When driving at night be careful and keep on the look out. Headlights confuse these animals and they often run towards the car. Slow down and turn off your lights if you see a moose. Beware of other vehicles before doing this to avoid someone else crashing into you. Moose collisions are often fatal.

Other dangerous animals include cougars (mountain lions) and wolves. Neither are seen often and mainly come out at night. Coyotes can pose a problem and should never be approached. They will generally not hurt people but small children should be kept an eye on if there is a chance of coyotes being around, even in city suburbs. Coyotes are not shy.

In an emergency dial 911 for all police, fire and medical emergencies. In Churchill, Manitoba, you can dial B-E-A-R (2-3-2-7) if you spot a polar bear in the city. You should report these polar bear sightings in Churchill for the safety of the residents and visitors to the city.

In urban areas, homeless people can be found all over. The number of beggars can be quite surprising and is on the increase across Canada. These people do not generally pose any threat.

Mental patients in built up areas are often left with insufficient supervision or care and left to roam the streets. They should not be approached and you should be cautious to their presence.

Seek advice when camping regarding campfires. In some places campfires can be illegal and during dry periods a fire can start easily and create huge amounts of damage. Make sure you extinguish your campfires properly when finished. The same goes for cigarettes.

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