Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bears In The News

As I was fixing breakfast this morning I was watching WDBJ Channel 7 news out of Roanoke, Virginia when they showed a video of a black bear walking right up to a father and son fishing at a nearby pond.  The bear after observing them for some time came out and eventually sniffed the father and mouthed (as a apposed to bit) the father on the foot.

You can view the video at:


Although the bear appears to be young, he is close to full size and this is not normal bear behavior.  These two guys were extremely lucky.  Apparently this bear is acclimated to being around humans and is most likely used to being fed or eating out of human trash.  The problem as I used to describe to children while doing school programs is that "bears don't share."  If these men had food that the bear wanted, he would have taken it by force if necessary.  Watch the entire video you will get some good advice from State Biologist Jim Bowman about keeping a distance between yourself and any wild animal.  The number one source of human vs. wildlife conflicts and injuries in parks is from people getting to close to take photos.

In my book "A Park Ranger's Life" you can read about my encounter with a bear that was acclimated to considering humans a source of food and transportation.

Photographed following his eventual capture, the acclimated bear that you can learn more about in the chapter "Close Encounters of the Bear Kind" in A Park Ranger's Life.

Do not let what appears to be domestic behavior of a wild animal lure you into a fool-hearty decision.

If you are still not convinced of the seriousness of bear encounters, check out this site for information on bear attacks in North America;


1 comment:

  1. Just this week (not in a Park) in South Central PA a bear followed a dog into the kitchen; the bear attacked the man and then his wife while in the house. Seventy stitches to the man's head/face, both hospitalized. The bear is still at-large. (Yikes!)