Image copyright iStockphoto / brytta. If a black bear starts to come towards you, make yourself as big as possible and in a stern voice tell it to go away. There have been … Brown or ‘Grizzly’ Bear- not as big as its polar cousin but still big enough to kill a man with a single swipe of its paw. The incident marked the first fatal bear attack at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Pre… However, a little knowledge is required to tell a grizzly bear from a black bear. The color of the fur is not always 100% effective for identifying the bear species, as black bears are not always black. Concentrate on sensitive spots like the nose and eyes. "Based on the evidence gathered at the scene and interviews with the victims, we believe this was a surprise encounter involving an adult female grizzly bear defending a food source and her offspring," FWP Regional Game Warden Captain Lee Anderson said. If you spot a bear in the distance simply back away, at least a few hundred yards, and find another route. If the attack continues and you feel he will never leave, fight back with any weapon possible. While bear attacks are not a common occurrence, they are becoming more frequent than in the past. Be on the lookout for active bear signs such as fresh tracks or fresh bear scat. Another reason for an increase in bear attacks is more people are camping and hiking in bear country. Characteristics of Black Bears and Grizzly Bears in YNP, Bear Spray: Safety for People, Safety for Bears. Do not play dead. Stand still, keep your eyes on the bear and wait for its reaction. The National Park Service breaks bear attacks into two groups: 1) defensive attacks and 2) predatory attacks. Another distinguishing characteristic is size. Generally, bears only attack humans to protect their food, cubs, or space so fighting back against a grizzly bear will typically only worsen an attack whereas playing dead may help the bear … There are a few things to look for when a bear attack will be a defensive attack. The polar bear, like its name indicates, will only be found in the most northern polar regions of Canada, Alaska, Russia, and all of Greenland. The hunters "sustained significant injuries" before they shot and killed the bear, the agency said in a statement. In the US and Canada, there were between 10 and 200,000 black bears in most states or provinces as of a 1996 count. The number of fatal human attacks is actually low. If a grizzly/brown bear charges and attacks you, PLAY DEAD. Montana's grizzly and human populations have both risen substantially since 1975, when the bears were protected under the Endangered Species Act, "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker reported last month. A grizzly bear walking along the edge of a stream. Knowledge can significantly decrease the probability that you will be attacked by a bear and may help you survive if you are attacked. Also, they see your flight response as a fleeing animal and will chase you. Sometimes a bear will stand on its hind legs to get a better look at you and better smell to determine if you are a threat to them.  Never run from a bear in attack mode, as they are much faster than you. Food is the most likely culprit for a bear entering you campsite. Hiking in midday will reduce the chance of encountering a bear, as they are less active at that time. Part of the reason for this increase in attacks is due to humans moving into more rural areas where bears live. The smell may still attract the attention of a bear, and if it does, you want the source of that food smell to be a fair distance from your tent. Image copyright iStockphoto / IndrekV. In 1996, it was estimated that there were between 735,000 and 941,000 black bears in the United States and Canada combined. During a close encounter with a black bear while you are walking down a trail, you should stop, stand your ground, and assess the situation. No matter what species you believe made the tracks, proceed with caution, as you know a bear is possibly in the area. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/grizzly-bear-surprise-attack-father-son-montana North American bear map: This map shows the overlapping geographic ranges of three types of bears that inhabit North America - polar bears, black bears and grizzly bears (also known as brown bears). Only seven states and one province had none. If you are looking at fresh bear tracks, pay attention to the claw marks for determining the species. Savage: Bears rarely attack humans, but Lynn Schooler says the stillness of his attacker radiated tension. If the bear does not instantly come towards you, it is best to slowly back away while keeping an eye on the bear to make sure it isn't following you. If another route is not available, wait 20 to 30 minutes before heading back down the trail. We have links to more information about bears in the reference box on this page. The suggested distance is 100 yards. They do not naturally hunt people to eat. Learning how to recognize what type of attack is happening will allow you to appropriately respond to the attack. Use bear spray if you haven't already used it all trying to deter it from the attack. In a predatory attack it is a matter of life and death, so do everything possible to save your life. A MASSIVE grizzly bear mauled a hunter to death in a first-of-its-kind attack in Alaska over the weekend. Have bear spray or a strong stick with you in case the bear gets too close.
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