Reports are coming in that a grizzly-type bear or large brown bear has been spotted in the Val d'Isere backcountry by a group of skiers.
Brown bears live in small populations in the Alps and it's thought that the warmer weather we've been experiencing lately may have brought this one out of hibernation early.
Local authorities are advising that you should exercise extreme caution if you're heading off piste, and under no circumstances should you approach a bear if you spot one. Attacks from bears in the wild are very rare, but there are a few things you can do to avoid getting into trouble:
- Always travel in a group
- Don't surprise bears - make lots of noise to make them aware you're heading their way
- Bears are more active at dawn & dusk, so try to avoid these times
- Remain calm & avoid sudden movements if you spot a bear
- Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.
If you haven't thrown your camera on the ground to distract a bear & you happen to get some photos, we'd love to see them!