Bear encounters in the NWT

Public Service Announcement

Yellowknife — June 15, 2022

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants NWT residents to think about bear safety this summer. The NWT is home to black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears, and as temperatures rise and residents head out on the land, bears are active across the territory. While bears normally avoid contact with people, residents must be aware that we live in bear territory and bear encounters can occur anytime humans and bears occupy the same land.

Bear encounters are most common in the spring and late summer, and it’s important that residents do your part to stay safe. Bear safety is not just about protecting people, it’s also about protecting bears.

Here’s what you can do to be bear safe:

  • Do not feed wildlife. This includes leaving pet food outside.
  • Bearproof your garbage, either by keeping it inside or in a shed until collection day, or in a bear proof container.
  • Don’t clean fish or field dress animals outside close to communities, cabins, or homes. Tightly seal the remains before disposal, to cut down on smells.
  • When out on the land, don’t leave garbage or food waste behind, and bear proof your camp site.
  • When out on the land, make noise, travel in groups, and carry bear spray.
  • If you see a bear near your home or cabin, make loud noises to scare them away and report sightings to ENR.

For more information, please visit https:


For media requests, please contact:

Jessica Davey-Quantick

Communications Planning Specialist

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9231 ext 53046