” The finest thing people can perform for bear is replace misconceptions v facts.” – Dr. Lynn Rogers

Bears have actually fascinated humans for millennia. As one of the many adaptable and also versatile mammals ~ above earth, their behaviour stirs fear, awe, wonder, and curiosity in us. Unfortunately, there are still numerous myths bordering the lives and behaviour of bears the negatively impact our relationships v them.

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Stories the ferocious attacks by blood-thirsty bears on defenceless hikers make an excellent lead story in the media. The overwhelming sense conveyed in these stories is that bears space dangerous, typical creatures the are severe threat to civilization in any circumstance. This, that course, is inaccurate in ~ best and unhelpful in ~ worst.

Another generally held myth is that bears are cuddly creatures the resemble the teddy bears we owned as kids. While there is no doubt that bears have actually the power to create children’s imaginations, the is important that the stories we share through our kids be based upon facts rather than fantasy.

It is vital to dispel both myths – the one based on fear, and also the other based on a misplaced id that bears space tame cuddly animals.

Bears room intelligent and resourceful wild mammals the deserve our respect. A greater knowledge that the behaviour, ecology and habitat needs of bears is crucial if we are to learn to co-exist peacefully with these splendid creatures.


Myth #1: Bears are unpredictable

Fact: Bears use body language and vocalizations to present their intentions. Learning around bear behaviour have the right to be advantageous to people who live or recreate in bear country.

Myth #2: bear can’t operation down hill

Fact: Bears have the right to run an ext than 60 kilometers an hour, and also they have the right to do it up hills, down hills or follow me a slope. To placed that in perspective, that’s 15 m/sec or 50 ft/sec – an ext than twice as fast as we have the right to run. In fact, a bear have the right to outrun a racehorse over brief distances yet has tiny endurance.

Myth #3: A be afflicted with standing ~ above its hind foot is about to charge

Fact: Actually, a be afflicted with standing top top its hind foot is just trying to much better identify what has caught its attention. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s much much easier to see, hear and also smell points from a was standing position, than down on all fours.

Myth #4: as soon as a bear has tasted person food, the won’t eat wild food any type of more

Fact: Bears like natural, wild food unless it is challenging to find and also human food is too easy to get. Also bears that on regular basis eat human being food/waste

still eat natural foods items whenever they’re plentiful. Problems usually rise when natural foods run the end – a great time come be an ext vigilant of be affected by each other attractants on her property; such as bird feed, pet food, fruit trees/berry bushes, barbecue grease and also compost. Click right here to learn much more about just how to come to be Bear Smart.

Myth #5: be afflicted with bells room the best way to stop a surprise encounter

Fact: It’s ideal to alert bear of your presence by talk loudly, singing songs or breaking sticks. Try to hike in a group, on created trails, during daylight hours. See our Play section for much more information.


Myth #6: If a bear charges you, rise a tree.

Fact: in spite of all your timidness ~ above the ground, black bears seem come feel an ext courageous in trees. Bears occasionally kill each various other by throw their enemies out the trees. The bear listed below has the advantage because the bear above cannot easily hang on and also face bottom to struggle back. Likewise the reduced bear seems confident of these benefits and some bears have also come up tree after people who assumed climbing was prudent. Grizzlies, too, deserve to climb – maybe not together quickly, yet they have been well-known to assault people that climbed tree to escape. See our Play section for an ext information.

Myth #7: Bears space carnivores.

Fact: return classified in the bespeak carnivora, grizzly and also black bears room omnivores due to the fact that they eat both plants and also animals. Just a small percentage of their diet consist of meat, which includes fish, insects and also other mammals (the exact percentage is dependant top top the type of food is accessible in your habitat).

Myth #8: bears have bad eyesight

Fact: Bears check out in colour and also have an excellent vision comparable to humans. Their night vision is excellent and they are an especially attuned come detecting movement. Like many animals, bears’ eyes have a reflective layer dubbed the tapetum lucidum lining the earlier of the eyeball. This layer mirrors light ago through the retina, allowing light to wake up light-sensitive cell in the retina a second time, thereby boosting night vision. This is what provides dogs, cats and also many nocturnal animals that distinct, bright green eyeshine as soon as they space flashed v a irradiate at night.

Myth #9: Bears that wander right into inhabited locations such together campsites, rural communities or cottage neighborhoods are dangerous

Fact: it is virtually impossible because that a be afflicted with to make its daily excursions without walking v someone’s private property. Bears might travel thousands of kilometres in their search for food. If you have stored her food and garbage properly, the be affected by each other will likely move on. Remember, problem bears aren’t born, they’re created through mismanagement of human being food and garbage. If bears space hanging around, other is attracting them. Removing the attraction will certainly usually resolve the problem.


Myth #10: shooting or relocating a ‘nuisance’ be afflicted with will solve the problem

Fact: removed the bear and not the attractant will certainly only produce an possibility for another bear to relocate in, producing a vicious bicycle of conflict and killing.

Myth #11: delivering a rifle is more secure than bear pepper spray

Fact: A person’s possibility of incurring significant injury native a charging grizzly doubles once bullets room fired versus as soon as bear pepper spray is used (Dr. Stephen Herrero). Those injured defending themselves v bear pepper spray experienced much shorter attacks and less severe injuries 보다 those who made decision to use weapons (US Fish and also Wildlife Service). Click below to review the full report. Bears are actually attractive to pepper spray residue if the is sprayed on the ground or on objects. Never spray it around a time or ~ above yourself. When offered defensively, pepper spray need to be sprayed straight in the attack bear’s eyes or nose. Click below for much more information.

Myth #12: one of the many dangerous meet is getting in between a mom black bear and also her cubs

Fact: since black bears can tree your cubs, that is rare for them to strike a human in defence of cubs. However, if girlfriend are everywhere near a mommy grizzly’s cubs, she might very well awareness you as a threat. The chances are great that she will just bluff charge and also stop well short of physics contact. You need to do everything you can to display her the you are not a threat, otherwise the results could be tragic. It is in quiet, make yourself smaller and also retreat.

Myth #13: people traveling in bear country are regularly attacked

Fact: Bear strikes are incredibly rare. Although there room thousands of human-bear to meet every year, only a very few result in an individual injury. Most bears will actually retreat prior to you are even aware of their presence. The is tho important, however, to continue to be alert and also know what come do.

Myth #14: the is danger to enter bear country when menstruating

Fact: present evidence suggests that menstruation walk not increase the likelihood the an attack by a black or grizzly bear, but tampons space recommended end pads. They might be disposed of by burning and then packing out the remains.


Myth #15: play dead during an attack.

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Fact: playing dead will work-related if you’re being assaulted by a mom grizzly defending her cubs. But it is the wrong thing to carry out if you’re being attacked by a predatory bear. If a bear assaults (particularly a black color bear) in an attack manner and physical contact is made, fight for her life. Kick, punch, fight the bear v rocks or rod or any kind of improvised weapon you deserve to find. A predatory bear normally stalks that is prey and attacks from behind. That is regularly silent and also the be affected by each other does not exhibit any kind of defensive behaviors like huffing or slapping the ground. The ears may be laid earlier and that is head organized low, with its intent focused straight on you. Watch our Play section for more information.