Most of bear attacks are acts of defense and it’s not common that a bear will attack you to be his dinner. Actually we humans kill more bears than they kill us.
The 750,000 black bears of North America kill less than one person per year on average! And this one person is killed because he was an intruder!
Most bear attacks are defensive reactions against a person who is getting very dose to their areas, which is an easy situation to avoid.
But here’s what you should do in case you crossed paths with a bear:
1-Avoid an Encounter in the First Place
When you are outdoor hiking or visiting the national park, pay close attention to your surroundings, and check if there are any warning signs about bears territories.
Respect the fact that bears need space. When in national parks respect the viewing distance regulations.
Use binoculars to check if there are any bears nearby when you are in the wilderness.
Hike in groups so you will send a warning to any near bear to not attack you.
2- Once a Bear Notices You
If you found out that a bear just have noticed you and stood staring at you:
Don’t panic, bears usually don’t attack humans. Actually they fear humans, and probably he standing there looking at you because he is afraid that you might shoot him!
Identify yourself as human by moving your arms slowly and start talking, this mostly will make him run away from the scene! No bear likes to get shot by a human! If the bear is standing still, simply leave the scene slowly.
Do not run as bears might think you are a prey and starts chasing you.
Also, do not climb a tree. Remember, bears are great climbers.
3- Once a Bear Attacks You
When a bear gets closer to you and seems interested in attacking you, you should never run! Act depending on the type of the bear:
3.1- Brown/Grizzly Bears
Never turn your back, and prepare to fight!
First play dead if attacked, lie down on your stomach on the ground and lace your fingers over the back of your neck to protect it.
When a brown bear attacks you, usually it’s trying to neutralize you as a defense, and not for the goal to eat you. So save his time and effort by playing dead.
Remain in the same position at least 20 minutes even if the bear is away from you. Grizzly bears are known for staying still and making sure you their enemy is dead.
However, if the attack persists, fight back vigorously. Use whatever you have at hand to hit the bear on the face.
3.2- Black Bears
If you are attacked by a black bear, do not play dead. Instead make noise and play big using sticks or any objects that might make you look bigger than him.
If you ate at a close range from the bear, use any nearby objects to fight him. If nothing found use your hands and feet. Aim at his face and muzzle.
3.3- Polar Bears
Polar bears are bigger than brown and black bears, and unlike these two, polar bears can attack you to eat you more than to neutralize you which make them more dangerous!
Unfortunately the playing dead trick won’t work with polar beats, also fighting them won’t be easy, but you have no other choice!
Throw kicks and hits as hard as you can, aiming on the bear’s nose and eyes. Also be careful of his paws, one strike can be deadly.
4- Put in Mind
If you are going to an area known for the presence of bears, don’t forget to carry a bear spray with you, this is would be the best thing you can use if a bear gets so close to you
It would be a lot better than playing dead or engaging in a direct fight!
You should always consider carrying a pepper spray with you every time you are going hiking or visiting a national park. You don’t know what wild animal you may face, and the spray could be your savior.
In addition to carrying a pepper spray, you should carry something that make a loud sound. This would distract the bear and draw attention from people nearby.
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Have you ever experienced a wild animal attack before ? How was it ?