By: David Mizejewski
If you encounter a bear in the wild, you should never run from it. Here's why.
This video from KTUU.com had this caption:
"Billy Adrian says he was in a vehicle driving at about 25 to 30 mph along Dead Man's Curve in Kodiak when he and other vehicles saw a brown bear 'just running' alongside the road Thursday."
Bears have no problem sprinting at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Humans aren't even half as fast.
Tips for hiking in bear country:
- Do research and know if bears are active in the area you're hiking.
- Make noise while you're hiking to alert bears to your presence. Bears generally avoid people and dangerous encounters are more likely to happen if you surprise a bear.
- Carry bear spray.
- Don't hike alone, or at a minimum make sure others know where you are hiking and when you should arrive at your destination.
- If you encounter black bear clap and yell to scare the bear away, and slowly back away from it. Black bears are afraid of people and will run away if they can.
- If you encounter a brown (grizzly) bear slowly back away but don't try to intimidate it. Grizzlies will attack if they feel threatened so trying to scare one away like you would a black bear could actually trigger an attack. If attacked by a grizzly, play dead so that the bear no longer sees you as a threat.
- Never run from a bear, which could stimulate its predatory instinct to chase you.
- Most importantly, remember that bear attacks are extremely rare. You have more chance of being injured or killed driving your car to the grocery store than you ever would from a bear.
Photo by Sandy Brown Jensen via Flickr Creative Commons.
Adopt a bear and protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.