Grizzlies follow hikers on trail

Watch: Grizzlies Tail Group of Hikers for "a Good 15 to 20 Minutes"

The hikers did everything right, but the grizzlies seemed unnervingly interested.

Every hiker knows that running into wildlife is a distinct possibility while enjoying the great outdoors, especially if hiking in bear country. Unfortunately for one group of hikers in Canada's Banff National park, they ran into not just one grizzly bear, but two, and the giant apex predators wanted to hang around far longer than any hiker would be comfortable with.

Phoebe Nicholson, a hiking guide based in Alberta, was leading a group of hikers from Moraine Lake by Lake Louise on the Consolation Lake Trail. She told CBC one of the guests heard rustling in the trees before two grizzly bears came out of the brush.

"It's not every day that you think you're actually going to be that close to two grizzly bears," said Nicholson. "A pretty intense, but also pretty amazing experience, to see animals like that in the wild, just in their natural habitat, going for a walk with us."

Please enable Javascript to view this content

Nicholson, who was the only one carrying bear spray, is originally from Australia. She told CBC that this was her first encounter with grizzlies, despite having moved to Canada a year ago.

Nicholson reported that the bears stayed about 10 to 20 meters behind the group the entire time—but they followed the group for "a good 15 to 20 minutes." Despite having bear training, Nicholson was still rather nervous. She said, "Knowledge-wise, I knew exactly what I should be doing, but it is different putting it into action."

The hikers believe that the bears were a mother and her adolescent cub.

The group did everything you're supposed to do if you see a bear: Make noise, don't make sudden movements, and walk slowly.

"The baby one did do a couple of quick runs, which may have been what we call a bluff charge," she later explained. "But from my training and everything, I knew that is a normal thing, and the best thing to do, of course, is to stay calm."

Thankfully, staying calm worked, and the bears went on their merry way, leaving the hikers to continue on to Consolation Lake without incident.

"We got to the Consolation Lake, and we kind of just watched it all, getting our breath back from what had just happened, which was pretty intense," Nicholson explained.

The National Park Service recommends that hikers keep at least 100 feet away from bears if possible. They also recommend that hikers:

  • Stay calm
  • Pick up small children
  • Hike in groups
  • Make yourself look as large as possible
  • Don't let the bears near your food
  • Do not drop your backpack
  • Do not make any sudden movements
  •  Move away slowly and sideways
  • Be cautious when you see a female with cubs

Remember, bears will only attack when they feel they need to defend their cubs, food, or space.

READ MORE: Montana Hunter Mauled by Grizzly, Fights Back As Jaw Is Ripped Off and Chest Scratched Open