connect, grow & thrive.

What to do if you meet a bear

I know it sounds crazy to be talking about this but there has been sightings of a brown bear around Engelberg so it’s not completely impossible that, should you go hiking in the area, you might cross paths with the creature.

What you need to know.

Brown bears have been sighted in Switzerland since 2005. It is believed that the bears are crossing over from Italy, the sightings remain very rare and the odds of you crossing paths with them is quite remote. This particularly bear is thought to have been sighted in the canton of Uri last year. Brown bears are mainly nocturnal and vegetarian and will not usually attack unless frightened or provoked. However here are a few things you should do in order to not have any unpleasant encounters.

– When hiking remain on the hiking trails
– Stay away from thick berry bushes and dense mushroom areas
– Make noise, sing, talk loudly or wear a small bell on your backpack
– Do not leave any food leftovers or garbage in the wild
– Keep your dog on a leash

What to do if you see a bear?

– Remain calm and assess the situation
– Make your presence known but talking in a calm manner
– Do not under any circumstancee try to get close to the bear
– Retreat slowly if possible walking backwards, never try to outrun a bear, they are much faster than we are.
– Avoid doing anything that could appear as a threat (throwing sticks or stones or shouting).
– Do not try to get the bear to come close to you by offering it food
– Do not try to get that unforgettable selfie with the bear!
– Do not follow the bear when it retreats.

This website specifically follows the sightings of bears in Switzerland.

Let’s hope we can cohabitate peacefully with the remarkable creatures.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Living in Luzern organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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