How to stay safe during a bear encounter | Canadian Geographic
Canada has three types of bear: grizzly (brown) bears, black bears, which include the white spirit bears of the West Coast, and, of course, polar. Take Yellowstone national park for example, a perfect grizzly bear habitat. There are three species in North America: the black bear, brown bear and polar bear. Slowly pull out your bear spray and remove the safety lock. Here's how to avoid an encounter, identify different species, protect your camp, The habitats of black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears do.
A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening. If you take the above actions and the bear continues to focus on you or approach, you should become more assertive: Use your deterrent if you have one. Drive a bear off rather than let it follow you. If you are with others, group together to look big and stand your ground. Surprise Encounters If you surprise a bear at close distance, it may feel threatened and act defensively, especially if it has cubs or food. Continue to stand your ground.
Safety in Polar Bear Country
If the bear moves away, walk away slowly, keeping your eyes on the bear. Bears can run much faster than a sprinter and, like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. A charging bear might come within a few feet before running off.
In the Rare Event of an Attack If a bear makes contact, you have two choices: The best choice depends on whether the bear is acting defensively or is seeking food. Most brown bear attacks are a defensive response. Play dead in defensive situations: Hit the ground and lie still if a brown bear you have surprised or any female bear protecting cubs makes contact.
Lie flat on your stomach, legs spread apart for stability, with your hands protecting the back of your neck. A defensive bear usually ends its attack if it feels you are not a threat. Remain motionless for as long as possible. If you move, and the bear sees or hears you, it may return and renew its attack. In a prolonged attack, fight back.
Fight back in other situations: Rarely, lone black bears or brown bears may perceive a person as potential food. Fight any bear that has been calmly focused on you and makes contact or that breaks into a tent or building.
In almost all situations, your best defense against an attacking black bear is to fight back. Protection Bear deterrents, including firearms and bear spray, can be helpful but should never be used as an alternative to common-sense approaches to bear encounters. Products labeled as bear spray contain capsicum red pepper extract and are effective at deterring bears at close range. Bear sprays are designed to propel a mist for 15 feet. If discharged upwind or in a vehicle, they can adversely affect the user.
If you carry bear spray, keep it handy and know how to use it. Occasionally, they may also kill walruses, belugas or white whales, and narwhals.
Keep up with Mother Nature
When the bears come ashore in areas where the pack ice melts during the summer, they can no longer hunt seals. They live mainly on their fat stores and conserve energy by remaining inactive over 80 percent of the time.
They will scavenge on carcasses if they find them, and occasionally eat grasses and berries. Very few cases of bears killing and eating caribou and muskoxen are known.Grizzly Bears Vs. Polar Bears
Polar bears have the ability to slow down their metabolism to conserve energy at any time of year. This occurs after seven to 10 days of not being able to feed and lasts until food becomes available again. In comparison, black or grizzly bears can slow down their metabolism only in response to not feeding in the late fall, just before they enter their dens for the winter. If food is removed from black or brown bears in spring or summer when they are not in their winter dens, they will starve to death.
When hunting, polar bears rely mainly on their keen sense of smell. They can detect seal breathing holes covered by layers of ice and snow 90 cm or more thick and up to a kilometer away. Their eyesight and hearing are similar to those of a human. Polar bears are excellent swimmers. They use their large front paws as powerful oars when they swim, while their rear paws trail behind and act like rudders.
Underwater, they keep their eyes open can remain submerged for over a minute. Although polar bears of both sexes and all ages may occupy temporary dens or shelters during periods of cold or stormy weather, only pregnant females remain in dens throughout the winter.
Males and females become sexually mature when they are four or five years old.
Staying Safe Around Bears - Bears (U.S. National Park Service)
Because cubs usually stay with their mothers for two and a half years, the most often a female is normally capable of having a litter is every three years. This is a very slow breeding rate, which explains why depleted populations take so long to recover. Mating occurs in April and May, when polar bears are out on the pack ice hunting seals.
However, the fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus and begin to grow until mid-September to mid-October. Through most of the Arctic, maternity denning begins about mid-October. The pregnant females search for deep snowdrifts near the coast. Often they excavate their dens on the south-facing slopes of hills or valleys, where prevailing northerly winds pile up deep snowdrifts.
The young are born after about two months of gestation, from late November to early January, depending on latitude. The most common litter size is twins, followed by singletons. Triplets are born periodically, especially when feeding conditions have been good and the females are able to put on a lot of fat before denning. At birth, the cubs are only about 25 cm long and weigh less than one kilogram.
Their eyes are closed at birth, and they are covered with hair so fine that in some early descriptions the cubs were reported to be hairless. Male polar bears commonly live to about 25 years of age. Females often live into their late twenties.
This will create a secured loop a slippery hitch. Wrap the end of the rope around the front of the line you brought up through the loop to the back, then through the loop you just made. Pull tight and repeat one more time to create a double-half-hitch.
Then tie End A to the tree.
Clip or tie the food bag s to the second carabiner at End B then pull on End B to haul the bag s at least 15 feet off the ground. Tie End B to the tree as well. When you want to get the bag s down, untie End B and lower them. Close encounters with bear kind There are some facts that you should know about bears in order to know when you might see a bear and what to do if that happens.
Bears are usually active during daylight hours, but people see bears at any time of day or night. Some bears that live in close proximity to civilization have been known to become nocturnal so as to avoid people, but others have gotten used to people and will take advantage of food sources like garbage or food that you bring on a hike or to a campsite.
Because of this, you should be aware of your surroundings. Never intentionally get close to a bear. The size of the critical space differs among all bears. So does their reaction to the critical space being invaded. Bears will often be frightened of new objects in their environment — including you and anything you may have brought with you.
After being initially startled, the bear will want to investigate. Bears are curious by nature. Either way, a bear standing on its hind legs is a sign of curiosity. What if a bear feels threatened? However, black bears are less likely to be aggressive in general. Black bear If a black bear feels threatened, it will make huffing sounds or blow air through its nose sharply.
It may also snap its teeth together. The bear will usually break off a charge a few feet away from you and then stamp its feet. Grizzly bears Before an attack, grizzly bears will almost always growl or make huffing, barking, woofing, or moaning sounds.
If a grizzly lunges toward you and slaps the ground, take it seriously — the bear is hostile. Polar bears There are many sounds to listen for when encountering a polar bear. A chuffing sound is a sign of agitation, whereas an angry or uneasy bear will hiss or let out a rumbling growl. Roaring or bellowing is a sign that the bear is hurt or otherwise provoked.
How to survive a bear attack If you are attacked by a bear, knowing what to do — and what not to do — could save your life. Much like the rest of the information here, it all depends on the type of bear. Black bears If you see a black bear, stand your ground. Do not run or climb a tree. Instead, wave your arms and make as much noise as possible. There are also wildlife deterrent horns made for this purpose.
If you have other objects handy, like a stick or tent pole, use those to make yourself look bigger. If you have bear spray, use it when the bear is feet away. This will impair its sense of sight and smell and cause irritation to its eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs.
The bear will generally retreat out of discomfort. Wait for the bear to either leave or notice you. If the bear follows, stop and stand your ground. If the bear charges, use your spray when the bear is feet away. This will create a wall of pepper spray between you and it. If it keeps coming, hit the deck. Cover the back of your neck with your hands and either lie flat on the ground or curl into the fetal position to protect your stomach.
Polar bears The best bet with polar bears is to avoid them at all costs. Out of the three species, polar bears are least likely to want to scare you off and are more likely to see you as a meal. Instead, stand tall, speak loudly, and behave like it should be scared of you. A good example is to bang a large stick or something similar on the ground. Aim for their nose and eyes and avoid their paws at all costs; one hit can kill you. Bears and Guns A final note: