The one thing you don’t have to look out for in Australia are bears. Oh wait — there are koalas… but (*spoiler alert*) they’re not really bears. For those of you accustomed to city dwelling in any country, it would be prudent to know a little about the local fauna surrounding Shuswap Lake. Quaaout Lodge is situated on land reserved for the First Nations/Indigenous people – the original inhabitants of Canada. Specifically, the area belongs to the “Secwepemc,” known in English as the “Shuswap people.” It is governed by the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band and is not overly built-up.
The reason I mention all this is to give you a sense of where you’ll be. While you won’t see people living in teepees or shooting bows and arrows on horseback (there are cottages and golf cart rentals), you will be surrounded by native forest and, naturally, its inhabitants. Part of the beauty of British Columbia is its wildlife, and it’s not uncommon for black bears to be seen in the vicinity of the lodge. If you happen to take a walk around the resort (there are some great walking trails) or get out on the golf course, you may meet one first hand.
Before you withdraw your RSVP, here’s a few tips about bears:
- Most of the time, bears are just ‘passing through’. It is not their agenda to attack humans; typically they are attracted by our garbage and other smells.
- Black bears are smaller than grizzly bears (click for a comparison). You are unlikely to encounter a grizzly at Quaaout. (There ARE grizzlies in BC, but they tend to be up in the mountains at higher altitudes.)
- Make some noise. If a bear hears you coming, they’ll usually head in another direction.
- If you do come into close view of a bear, don’t run. Bears can run. Fast. And climb. Do not approach the bear and don’t make eye contact. Start talking to it (nicely) and slowly retreat the way you came and avoiding the area.
- Never put yourself between a black bear momma and her cubs (babies) – she will most certainly go all ‘grizzly’ on you.
Chances are, if you don’t venture off you won’t see much wildlife (and where’s the fun in that?!) so please don’t let this information deter you from enjoying the great outdoors around the lake. Be informed, be aware and please read these more ‘official’ bear safety tips. And if you want to try some bear sausage, I can hook you up 😀
L & D
P.S. Bare bums have also been commonly seen around the lake. 😉