I had a curious and memorable experience near Jasper. I decided to do a 25km walk in the woods on my own. The chosen route was the Saturday Night Lake Loop shown on the Tourist Board map above.
About a third way round, near the arrow in the map, I was feeling rather lonely and had noticed that the path had no human footprints. On my left was a narrow creek and the path was traversing its bank. I had been shouting, as recommended, at frequent intervals to let any bears know that I was coming.
It was then that I heard a really big branch breaking. Across the creek was a moose, charging towards me down through the trees of the far bank. I tried to avoid sudden movements but still get the camera prepared for a photo. The moose looked really agitated and turned to set off at right angles, weaving through the bushes so I would have had trouble getting a photo even if the camera was ready. Just before the moose vanished, I realised what was troubling it. There was a black bear galloping after it!
It was all rather more than I had bargained for! Anyway I decided that the bear was now behind me so I carried on with the rest of the walk, being sure to make plenty of noise. In the event, all the subsequent wildlife I saw was nine ducks and one squirrel.
I have very little idea what all the fuss was about with the moose and the bear. As far as I know, black bear do not chase mooses! Could it be that I had frightened the moose and it had stumbled into the bear as it retreated up the far bank, thus provoking an attack? If so, it seemed to me that the bear was doing rather more than shooing the moose away. Maybe the bear too was frightened by my shouts and had decided to follow the moose to safety?
If I ever get any bear/moose experts reading this, I would love to know what they think.
[Please note: this is not part of the Ramblers Holidays tour, but something I did solo at my own risk]
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