The National Park Service offered a serious, yet humorous warning for those who encounter an aggressive bear while out in the wilderness.
The National Park Service shared on its social media this week that “If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down… even if you feel the friendship has run its course.”
Spring is the most active time for bears as they are coming out of hibernation. They are irritable, hungry and ready to party!
The park service recognizes that seeing a bear in the wild is an awesome and special experience, but it can also be a very dangerous one. You always want to keep your distance from a wild bear, never surprise one and definitely never taunt one. Most bears will sense a human and keep their distance. When walking in the woods where bears are prevalent, you always want to be making noise and making your presence known.
Park officials say that there is no clear cut way to avoid a bear attack, but there are things humans can do to attempt to prevent one.
- Identify yourself by talking calmly so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal.
- Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack; they usually just want to be left alone.
- Pick up small children immediately. Do not make any loud noises or screams.
- Hike and travel in groups. Groups of people are usually noisier and smellier than a single person.
- Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).
- Do not allow the bear access to your food. Getting your food will only encourage the bear and make the situation worse.
- Do not drop your pack as it can provide protection for your back and prevent a bear from accessing your food.
- Do not run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase ﬂeeing animals.
- Do not climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
- Be especially cautious if you see a female with cubs; never place yourself between them, and never attempt to approach them.
More bear safety tips can be found online from the National Park Service.