Rangers in training

Park rangers learn techniques to keep bears away from picnic baskets, the public and themselves

Senior park ranger Peter Hehl presided over a bear-aware training session in Parksville this week.

Senior park ranger Peter Hehl presided over a bear-aware training session in Parksville this week.

Park rangers on Vancouver Island converged on Parksville on Tuesday as they prepared for an influx of both two and four-legged visitors this summer.

Peter Hehl, the senior park ranger for the West Coast Region, said he was leading the training session at Rathtrevor Park for about 30 rangers from across the Island.

“We’re taking the bear trap to Rathtrevor and have the rangers do their training there,” he said. “We’ll go over how to set up the trap, bear spray use and being bear aware out in the bush. 

“A lot of the new rangers don’t have a lot of experience, so when they come across a bear, they need to know what to do.”