Subject: Hiking and bears
I've not been hiking in the Rockies for a few years - but I imagine that it's true. The cause, though, is more likely to be uninformed tourists who neglect to put food away or - even worse - offer food to the bears. The bears are now so dependent upon human food that they lurk around much more and, even when the rangers take them back up to the high country - they return pretty quickly for their fix of garbage and food scraps.

I'll never forget my first visit through Banff Ntl. Park (early 70s) when I saw a family line up their kids with baby bear in the middle for a picture and the kids feeding it!!! Miraculously - there were no dreadful repercussions except very scared kids as they ran back to the car when Mum approached but .... it's hard to believe how anyone can be so stupid.

The park's have had a blitz of public education materials since then but - some people still do not listen. Very sad :(

All in all, though - unless things have changed dramatically - while you are hiking, if you wear a bear bell you should be fine and just make sure that every scrap of food is tied up high in a tree when you camp ... you should be ok.

Judy in Hong Kong