How to Deal with Bears During Mountain Trips

Bears are immense, powerful wild animals spread on the continents of North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Asia. Taking into account that males can weight between 350 to 680 kilograms (770 to 1500 pounds), it is no wonder that for many people the sight of a bear is terrifying.

Brown bear

Things to do to avoid an encounter
The first thing to do to reduce the fear of meeting a bear is to better understand these magnificent creatures. For example it is good to know that bear attacks on people are rare, and related deaths even rarer. These immense animals usually avoid meeting man, and usually become very dangerous when they feel threatened.

Bears are usually solitary animals that have their personal space which varies from animal to animal. Grizzlies are the most territorial. A bear can attack when its space is violated or when it is surprised. Be careful when seeing cubs, because bear mothers are close and can attack.

Black bear

The best thing to do to avoid an unexpected encounter is to make a lot of noise. You can speak loud with your companions or sing if you are alone. In this way bears can hear you and will avoid you.

Bears have an excellent sense of smell. When wind is at your back there are many chances for the bear to smell you and leave the area before you even seen it. However, if the wind blows in your face there is a possibility to surprise it. If you come upon a dead animal carcass you shuould leave the area immediately. Bears often feed on a carcass for days and have the custom to guard their food.

Dogs can be a problem when bears are around. The wildly barking of a dog can make a bear become nervous and it can attack the dog owner.

The encounter
If you do meet a bear remember one thing: playing dead, running, or climbing a tree are your last options. Despite their heavy build bears run very fast and climb quite easy. Seeing you down is also like an invitation for it.

Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact and speak anything is in your mind in a calm voice. You can drop an object (like a camera), or your food and retreat slowly while the bear is investigating what you have offered it.

Don’t get frightened if a bear stands upright or moves closer. Usually this is a sign that it is just trying to detect smells in the air. If the bear is making a noise, this is a typical defensive attack.

A trip can be delightful when we learn to understand nature and animals. Have you ever encounter a bear?

Sources: theglobeandmail,americantrailsudap

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