Bears: Encounter Risks & How To Handle Attacks

Analogue Boy

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I once read that bears can run on the flat as fast as horses for a short period of time. Then my head started playing the Grand National with jockeys on bears coming to a stop at the first fence and trying to waddle their huge arses over it.
 

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I once read that bears can run on the flat as fast as horses for a short period of time. Then my head started playing the Grand National with jockeys on bears coming to a stop at the first fence and trying to waddle their huge arses over it.
Lol!

I once read that there are two types of bears, one black and one brown. One can run really fast but can't climb trees, so if you see that bear, the advice was to climb a tree to get out of its way. The other type of bear however can't run fast, but can climb trees, so when you see THAT bear, you run.

I'm now all these years later presuming that's nonsense? Anyone know?
 

Lb8535

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Lol!

I once read that there are two types of bears, one black and one brown. One can run really fast but can't climb trees, so if you see that bear, the advice was to climb a tree to get out of its way. The other type of bear however can't run fast, but can climb trees, so when you see THAT bear, you run.

I'm now all these years later presuming that's nonsense? Anyone know?
Well in the US there are black bears which are smaller and do climb. I have never heard that they are very fast. The tend to be shy unless protecting their cubs. Usual cautions apply. Grizzlies are brown and bigger and can be very aggressive. I don't know whether they climb or run - they're pretty heavy for climbing. They do break into cars regularly for candy bars when idiots leave them visible. Sometimes into houses.
 

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Well in the US there are black bears which are smaller and do climb. I have never heard that they are very fast. The tend to be shy unless protecting their cubs. Usual cautions apply. Grizzlies are brown and bigger and can be very aggressive. I don't know whether they climb or run - they're pretty heavy for climbing. They do break into cars regularly for candy bars when idiots leave them visible. Sometimes into houses.
Thanks for the reply. My husband has relatives in Canada and has told me Canadian bear stories. Can't imagine coming downstairs in the morning to find bear paw prints on my kitchen window, for one! Quite normal for them though.

Can I ask another question? If a grizzly has you, is it the right thing to do to play dead, especially hold your breath? Another thing I've heard about surviving bears.
 

Lb8535

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Thanks for the reply. My husband has relatives in Canada and has told me Canadian bear stories. Can't imagine coming downstairs in the morning to find bear paw prints on my kitchen window, for one! Quite normal for them though.

Can I ask another question? If a grizzly has you, is it the right thing to do to play dead, especially hold your breath? Another thing I've heard about surviving bears.
I believe that once a bear actually has you there's nothing you can do except fight it, but as they approach fast you are advised to crouch down with your hands protecting the back of your neck. In a short sprint you won't outrun them. You can check the web under "bear safety" and there are expert lists of what to do and not do. In upstate NY it's very common to find paw and nose prints on doors and windows.
 

Lb8535

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Thanks for the reply. My husband has relatives in Canada and has told me Canadian bear stories. Can't imagine coming downstairs in the morning to find bear paw prints on my kitchen window, for one! Quite normal for them though.

Can I ask another question? If a grizzly has you, is it the right thing to do to play dead, especially hold your breath? Another thing I've heard about surviving bears.
Bear-proof food storage bins are in demand in the west for campers, and the manufacturers test them by leaving them out for grizzlies to find and filming the encounter. You may be able to find some of the videos on you tube, triumphant or deeply frustrated bears.
 

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I believe that once a bear actually has you there's nothing you can do except fight it, but as they approach fast you are advised to crouch down with your hands protecting the back of your neck. In a short sprint you won't outrun them. You can check the web under "bear safety" and there are expert lists of what to do and not do. In upstate NY it's very common to find paw and nose prints on doors and windows.
Thanks. I seem to have long been obsessed with what to do when confronted by a bear, and I can't explain why. I just want to be ready if ever the time comes...
 

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I once read that bears can run on the flat as fast as horses for a short period of time. Then my head started playing the Grand National with jockeys on bears coming to a stop at the first fence and trying to waddle their huge arses over it.
Or the bears stopping to munch on a rival jockey!
 

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IbisNibs

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That story, and the iffyness of its sources, showed up on another thread. I'll try to find the link.
 

IbisNibs

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It's in the Day of the Animals thread, page 130.
The thread is in the Fortean Fauna section.
Apologies for not fetching the actual link to that post—I can't stomach looking at the guy's picture.
 

maximus otter

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Always attach small bells to your bergen or hiking poles. The noise will ensure that bears have advance warning of your approach, and so will avoid you. Also, carry pepper spray.

You can avoid contact with bears by being alert for the presence of their droppings. You can recognise them easily: they’re full of small bells and smell of pepper.

maximus otter
 

Lb8535

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Actually the bells and also singing is recommended. Mostly bears stay away from humans. But there certainly are some in grizzly country, very hungry or stupid yearlings, who stalk hikers. I also sing in hunting season, which is actually a much more dangerous situation. Trial by Jury seems to work fine.

Are there bears in the UK?
 

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Not for a very long time, no.

There was a news story in the latest FT about a 3-year-old boy who went missing in the woods in North Carolina. When found two days later, safe and well, the toddler claimed that a bear had looked after him, which has been met with scepticism but no other explanation for his survival.
 

Analogue Boy

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Actually the bells and also singing is recommended. Mostly bears stay away from humans. But there certainly are some in grizzly country, very hungry or stupid yearlings, who stalk hikers. I also sing in hunting season, which is actually a much more dangerous situation. Trial by Jury seems to work fine.

Are there bears in the UK?
Only in zoos. Although there is talk of reintroducing them and wolves back into the wild. Problem is, the UK is tiny compared to the US and new bears wouldn’t be that far from human civilisation.
1563478150969.jpeg

I believe making a lot of noise is good practice for warning snakes away but personally, I’d favour a gun over running and bear spray if I was remotely near them.
 

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Thanks for all the bear posts! I guess if I ever do encounter a bear in the wild, it's up to the bear what happens next...
 

Lb8535

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Really most of them will turn and run. I lived in the wild for a while in black bear (smaller ) country and generally they are afraid of humans. A friend got into some trouble with her family when she tried to take a small garbage can away from one. Actually she succeeded. She said she did it because it was making a mess. Obviously you don't want to leave garbage cans on the back porch in bear country. I think they would run into trouble if they were introduced back into the UK.
 

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meanwhile in italy

Fugitive Bear Escapes Jail Cell, Scales 3 Electric Fences and Is Now on the Run
By Isobel Whitcomb, Live Science Contributor | July 17, 2019 04:08pm ET

There's a fugitive on the loose in northern Italy. He's skilled at scaling electric fences, goes by the name of M49, weighs 300 lbs. (136 kilograms) and is very, very fluffy. That's right — northern Italy's most wanted fugitive is a bear.

Deemed a danger to humans and wildlife, M49 was captured in the Trentino region of northern Italy on Sunday and placed in a high-security enclosure with other “so-called problem bears,” the Trentino Press Office said in a statement. But mere walls couldn't contain M49. Within hours, the bear had scaled all three electric fences, plus a 13-foot (4.3 meters) barrier and vanished without a trace.


https://www.livescience.com/65965-fugitive-bear-escapes.html
 

Ladyloafer

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Are there bears in the UK?
ah. turns out there are. sort of.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...o-coexist-in-uk-woods-in-conservation-project

European brown bears, thought to have become extinct in the British wilds in medieval times, and grey wolves – which roamed free until the 17th century – are to coexist in a project called Bear Wood near Bristol.
although this woodland is wild it is also technically part of bristol zoo. but its not a wildlife park as such either.
 

Lb8535

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Well at least I don't think they will go after each other. Reintroducing wolves is tough - any cattle death anywhere near will be blamed on them, while the wolf conservationists say they don't actually go after cattle by preference. Isn't there some supernatural/animistic background to bears in England? CS Lewis conjured them back in That Hideous Strength.
 

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Well at least I don't think they will go after each other. Reintroducing wolves is tough - any cattle death anywhere near will be blamed on them, while the wolf conservationists say they don't actually go after cattle by preference. Isn't there some supernatural/animistic background to bears in England? CS Lewis conjured them back in That Hideous Strength.
hmm. i don't know really. there is a strong northern european old cultural link around bears, including uk, but i don't think bears are generally particularly revered or despised in the uk.

the strongest link is the many many pubs called The Bear or The Bear Inn or the such. the imagery associated with that is of a bear chained to a post for bear baiting.

bears feel like a really 'foreign' creature to me- something that abroad has. like crocodiles or monkeys!
 

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