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Posted: June 9, 2019

Remember the S.P.R.A.Y. acronym

By Danica Roussy

WildSafeBC Kimberley – Cranbrook wants to thank everyone who came and joined in on the WildSafeBC, Wildlife Safety Presentation and Bear Spray Demonstration.

Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially safe your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country. Therefore, it is important to know how to safely store, carry and deploy bear spray.

If you do encounter a predator, you may only have a few seconds to react. Remember the S.P.R.A.Y. acronym.

S – Stop

Stay CALM and DO NOT RUN. Assess the situation.

P – Prepare

Remove the bear spray from the holster with your dominant hand and grasp the base with your other hand. Observe the animal. If the animal does not appear interested in you, back away slowly, always facing the animal. If the animal approaches or follows – stop.

R – Remove the safety

With the bear spray in both hands, release the safety.

A – Build A Wall

If the predator charges you, build a wall of spray between you and the predator. Do this by pointing the bear spray to the ground a few meters in front of you, press on the trigger and bring the spray up in line with the predator’s head.

Y – Yield

Take a step back to put distance between you and the cloud of spray and the predator.

Again, a big thanks to Walter Rechlin from The Cranbrook Community Forest Society and Paula George, from The Rocky Mountain Naturalist Club for inviting WildSafeBC along for the nature walk to the new Kiosk the sickly Forest in the Cranbrook Community Forest, June 4, for a wildlife safety presentation and Bear Spray Demonstration.

It is connections like this, year after year, that help keep community members safe and wildlife wild. “

Click here to view WildSafeBC’s video showing how to safely store, carry and deploy bear spray.

Remember: If you need to report a sighting or a conflict with wildlife, please call the Conservation Officer Service at 1.(877).952.7277.

Lead image: Photo taken on June 4 in the Cranbrook Community Forest. Photo by Danica Roussy

– Danica Roussy is WildSafeBC Kimberley – Cranbrook Community Coordinator

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