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Meet the grizzlies at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

This story first appeared in Escape

Hey readers, today marks the start of something new. As well as creating fresh content just for Adventures All Around, I’m also going to start making it nice and easy for you to find my other travel tales by sharing part of them in here with links to the full stories. Ready? Let’s kick off with a trip to Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest…

When the grizzly bear cub started hollering for its mother, I knew we could be in trouble. We’d seen the mother and her two cubs down by the river, but now that we were walking along a path in the Great Bear Rainforest, the sight of a single cub without its mum was a worry.

As the curious first-year cub started to walk towards us, guide Ellie Lamb started talking to stop him coming any closer. Her voice stopped him in his tracks all right. It also started him wailing and as he turned and ran up a tree, where he screamed some more, adrenaline started pumping as I realised the protective mother was somewhere in the bushes around us.

Read: Walking with polar bears

On our drive into the forest, which stretches up the coast of British Columbia towards Alaska, I’d asked Ellie what to do if we were faced with an upset bear. She told us we’d have to remain calm and either stay still or if she told us to, gently back away and never, ever, panic or run.

And as the mother grizzly bear burst onto the path, roaring and growling, I stuck to that advice like gospel. Slowly stepping backwards, I felt an eerie calm, and took as much comfort from Ellie’s soothing voice, telling the bear everything was OK, as the bear appeared to do.

As loud as her roars and as big as her teeth were, the bear seemed more scared and worried for her missing cub than out to do us harm. When she reached the 10m or so mark she stopped, almost dancing on the spot, and while growls continued, we could see her sizing us up, seeming to realise we didn’t have her cub and were not a real threat to her or her family.

To keep the bear’s focus on her rather than on us, Ellie took two steps forward and kept talking calmly while the rest of us stood still. Despite the camera around my neck and an incredible photo opportunity before me, my survival instincts were more interested in avoiding movement or possible strange noises that could further upset a grizzly.

Continue reading this story here

Grizzly bear swimming Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada

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