Dream job in the wild: The Quebec Bear Guide


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Disclosure & Image Rights:  Image material was created with a camera provided free of charge by our sponsor Olympus, which we checked as part of the test until it was unusable. The Tourism Department of the Canadian province of Quebec has taken over our research costs for flights, transfers, stay and meals.  Picture Location: Route de Duchesnay, Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, Canada.

While the brown bear Bruno made headlines for weeks in Germany, bears in Canada are completely normal - and are largely harmless. Bear guide Carol LéPine shows how they live. Baer006

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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Dangerous bears are only if you are unprepared

“It could only get a little dangerous if I run into the bear unprepared,” explains Carol as we bump into a forest path pretty quickly in his old school bus. Carol LéPine is someone who has dealt extensively with bears. A good 60 kilometers from Quebec City, he explains to tourists how the animals live.

We are late, because dusk is approaching - and this is food for the bears. Carol brought them a mixture of fruits, biscuits and caramelized honey, which he made on a large stone a few hundred meters from our high ground.

He never used the Bear's Prey in 12 years

"There are also a lot of insects in the sweet mix that lick the bears along with," explains Carol. If he had been surprised by a bear on the way to the stone, it could have been unpleasant.

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For exactly those moments of surprise, Carol always has a can of bear spray with cayenne pepper. This should scare the bears away in an emergency. "But I never had to use that in 12 years," says Carol.

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The passion for the profession

12 years - that's how long he's been doing this job. "What a job," laughs Carol. "I don't have a job!" Rather, he turned his passion into a profession. Our interview is a little embarrassing for him, because he says straight away: "I don't speak English very well."

Carol's freedom urge has always been great. Instead of going to school, he preferred to play outside. He has therefore fallen three times through the examination. Later Carol received his school leaving certificate and was a technician at a company producing diving equipment.

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Prefer to work outside than in the office

But then he wanted to do his own thing: “One of my friends has one Company started with dog sledding. I quit my job to join Aventure Inukshuk. I just wanted to be outside all the time and stop working in the office, ”he explains his motivation to start

“In the beginning we worked with dog sledding. Bear tours were added later. And in winter, when the bears are asleep, they also offer snowmobile tours. Irony of the story: "Now I have office work again because of the tourists," laughs Carol.

He continues to do the bear tours himself

But even though the company now has a large number of employees, Carol still does the bear tours herself: "The bears are my great passion, I won't let that go," he says.

He taught himself about nature and bears. "Learning by doing," as he says. Carol also lived with the Indians for a while and learned a lot there.

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He knows every bear by name

Carol therefore not only knows a lot about the vegetation and the trees, but knows every bear by name. You can differentiate them on the face: “The bridge of the nose and forehead are different for every bear,” he explains. And when suddenly a bear lady emerges from the bushes with three cubs that begin to lick the stone completely empty, he knows how to tell all sorts of things about this bear family.

“The bears can live up to 15 years. In spring at the time of mating, male bears are more likely to be seen, ”says the bear leader, while the bears finally polish the stone with their tongues.

A job that is always different

Sometimes he tells the bears to climb the trees when they find food there. For the young ones who are still light enough, this is not a problem, but once, Carol laughs, he saw a tree that bobbed under the weight of the bear until the bear finally fell

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“Every evening is different, you never know what will happen: Sometimes we even see 10 bears. It's never the same scenario. ” That's what Carol loves about his job.

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