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Rules of conduct when encountering wild animals

Nature offers people a place for recreation, but for animals, nature provides not only their habitat but their sanctuary.

Nature offers people a place for recreation, but for animals, nature provides not only their habitat but their sanctuary. The interaction between humans and animals is regulated by wildlife sanctuaries and, in winter, by wildlife rest areas, which must be respected. It is therefore forbidden to enter the wildlife sanctuaries and to hunt in the yellow-red marked wildlife sanctuaries. But even outside these zones, the wild animals will be grateful if you follow these guidelines:

  • Only photograph and observe animals from a safe distance.
  • Do not make noise, smoke, or produce other disturbing smells.
  • Never leave garbage behind in nature as this can lead to environmental damage and endanger wildlife.
  • Dogs are perceived as predators by wild animals and must always be kept on a lead.
  • Always stay on the marked paths.
  • Observe and obey the signs.

The sporadic sightings of bears and wolves are generally a very good sign as they demonstrate that the Upper Engadin and Graubünden nature is untouched and intact. Nevertheless, when we encounter a bear or wolf, our first thought is certainly not about the high quality of nature in Graubünden but rather the question “What am I going to do now?”
Here are the most important tips on what to do if you come face to face with a bear:

  • Do not leave the official hiking trail. If you suspect (for example- based on bear tracks) that there is a bear nearby, you can draw attention to yourself by talking and singing. The bear will then usually retreat.
  • If you do encounter a bear, please remain calm. Never approach the bear and, if necessary, retreat without panicking.
  • Do not make any sudden or frantic movements, as these will irritate the bear.
  • If the bear stands up, it is usually only doing so to better assess the situation. Do not let this unsettle you.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
  • If the bear attacks, lie flat and motionless on the ground and protect your neck with your hands. Wait until the bear has moved away.
  • To prevent the bear from seeing you as a food source, do not leave any food scraps in the forest.

Further information and leaflets on how to behave when dealing with these large animals can be found on the website of the Office for Hunting and Fishing of the Canton of Graubünden. The site also provides an overview of current sightings of all large carnivores.

(Source: www.nationalpark.ch)

Enjoy the Engadin nature!