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There are less than 700 grizzly bears left in the province and without major changes they could be gone in 50 years.

Alberta's grizzly bear population reaches record-low

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 4:37 PM - Bear populations in Alberta have reached a grisly all-time low.

After 19 more grizzly bear deaths in 2014, the Alberta Wilderness Association said there are less than 700 bears left in the province.

Advocates for the animals like Alberta Wilderness Association's Sean Nichols are hoping that government officials will get serious about helping the animals bounce back.

"Let's not do this to their habitat, let's not fragment their habitat, let's not build so many roads and so many intrusions into their habitat," Nichols told CBC News.

The province suspended the Grizzly Bear Hunt in 2006, but the Alberta Fish and Game Association asked the province to reconsider the hunt for areas where there are too many.

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But since 2006, nearly 170 grizzly bear have died, with 150 of those being attributed to human causes.

Some conservationists like Brian Horejsi are not optimistic of any major changes coming for the bears.

"We're still looking at a plan that has not been embraced by regulation and if you don't do that you don't have a plan," Horejsi said, according to CBC

If nothing is done, Horejsi thinks the Alberta grizzlies could be gone in the next 50-to-150 years.

What to do if you encounter a bear?

Of course the best advice offered on the Parks Canada website is to avoid an encounter. If you're wandering through a forest, especially near streams or dense vegetation make a lot of noise to alert bears you're there. Keep an eye out for any bear signs and travel in larger size groups. Hiking in groups of four or more is recommended.

Bear spray can be effective if you encounter one of the large animals. Always carry it with you know and know how to use it.

The worst-case scenario when it comes to encounters is when you spot a bear and the bear spots you.

According to Parks Canada, it's imperative you stay calm. Bears will feel reassured by your behavior. Talk to the bear so it knows you're not a prey animal and walk away slowly. If the bear does choose to approach you, get ready to use the spray. Do not run.

Source: CBC | Parks Canada

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