Wildlife Viewing Safety
Alaska is a wild land from our largest cities to our most remote islands. For safety, take a companion, let someone know your plans, and be prepared for emergencies with spare clothes, plenty of food and water, and a means of communication.
Bears: Avoid surprising bears. Be alert along noisy streams, in thick brush, and when visibility is poor. Make noise (sing, clap, talk) when traveling. Always keep your belongings (backpack, food, fish, etc.) with you or in bear-proof storage. If you see a bear, stay calm. If the bear does NOT notice you, quietly leave, keeping your eyes on the bear. If it DOES notice you, face the bear, wave your arms and talk to it calmly. If it approaches you, stand still.
If a bear is surprised at close distance, it may feel threatened and act defensively, especially if it has cubs or food. Stand your ground! If the bear strikes or bites you, lie on your front, protect your face and neck and remain still. In rare instances, bears may be predatory. Fight back if the attack is prolonged.
Moose: Never approach, corner, or feed a moose. Moose, especially cows with calves, can be aggressive and need plenty of room. When in moose country, keep your dog in control. Pay attention to moose body language. Ears back, neck hair raised, and licking lips signal stress. Retreat quickly! If a moose charges you, hide behind a tree or something solid or run if you have a head start. If you're knocked down, curl up, protect you head, and lie still until the moose retreats.
Visit the Alaska State Parks Staying Safe web page at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety before you head out.