Today I begin to study canadian parks, particularly the canadian park of Jasper, not so far from Calgary.

What there will be to study, you would think! They are parks and mountain, we always go to the mountains, we should know enough about it.

Well, yes. Except that we will be in another continent, with different rules and, most of all, a lot whole of animals and wildlife we are not used to.

Bears, moose, cougars, wolves, deers and so on…sligthly more populated than our mountains.

Ok, granted that, I go and search the website of the natural parks in Alberta, where we are supposed to be during the first days of our canadian stay together with a friend. At the beginning we were thinking of our usual camping, with our loyal tent, but a certain number of advices and prohibitions are beginning to make me think that we will have to plan something else; for sure our usual free and wild camping will not be an option.

So, I have to repost some extracts of the canadian guide, comic at first, but surely not to underestimate:

“Driving: statistically, it’s the most dangerous activity in the park.”

…this sentence open the page, such a good start! It goes on with some general warnings, mostly addressed to the common city person who goes to the mountain with t-shirt and flip-flops, I go on reading…

“If you are approached by a PREDATOR:

If you are approached by a cougar, wolf or coyote, send a clear message that you are NOT potential prey.”

Really interesting, mostly if we consider the next phrase:

“…to a carnivore, your PET may look appetizing.”

The following is an interesting story of a driver who has stopped to take some picture of an elk, happens to take the picture of another visitore, way more unwary, who decided to get more closer to the elk, triggering the calm elk towards his bright red car:


From the website

The funny story is followed by the safety distances to respect in order to stay safe from wildlife, both for them and for ourselves, funny measured in bus lenghts:

“Always keep your distance:

    – 100 metres (10 bus lengths) away from BEARS, COUGARS and WOLVES

    – 30 metres (3 bus lengths) away from ELK, DEER, SHEEP, GOATS and MOOSE.”

Those above are obviously really right and reasonable warnings, the fact is that this photo had been shooted by Attilio just two days ago, more or less at 5 meters (half bus lenght) from these well horned ibex


Ibex at half bus distance, Pian della Mussa, May 2nd 2015

Last but not least, and neither less funny, some warning about watching wildlife from the road and the car:

“Watch our for animals near the road: Drive with care and be prepared to avoid a collision at all times. If you see an animal by the road, slow down, warn other motorists and expect other animals nearby. If you wish to stop and view roadside wildlife, pull safely out of traffic, remain in your vehicle and move on after a few minutes.
If you see a bear… Consider not stopping. If you see a bear beside the road, consider this: It may run onto the road, especially if there are crowds of people (…) getting out of their cars (…) It is stronger and faster than you are. (…) It is likely eating or looking for food (…) It may look ‘docile’, but (…) it could be getting a bit bothered by all the people who keep disturbing it – all day long, day after day…

And to end the page witha a smile, here they come with a red sentence:

“Remember, you are responsible for your own SAFETY!”

So, some little difference from our parks is actually real. In the italian park watchin an ibex or a marmot is the biggest emotion!

We will have some crazy and incredible time, every day we will be there!