This video from HowCast explains the intricacies of not “getting your head ripped off by a bear.” Honestly, this is one of the funniest, yet educational, videos I’ve seen.
I just love well-done claymation.
The video doesn’t mention it, but if you’re carrying food and the bear follows you, drop the food. Better to lose some food and gear than “get your head ripped off by a bear.”
Most bear attacks in the backcountry occur because the bear
- Feels threatened (ie, you’re too close)
- Wants your food
- Is protecting their young
I’ve been regaled with stories from rangers and fellow hikers on human stupidity when interacting with black bears in the Smokies.Â I’m sure there’s many a similar story in other parts of the country about interacting with grizzly bears as well. One hiker recounted to me his story of approaching a tourist tossing out food for a black bear. He told the guy that he should stop because it was dangerous and he might get hurt. The tourist replied “These bears won’t hurt me. This is a National Park” as if the bears know the boundaries of the park. Interactions such as these always end poorly and usually for the bears. Once they lose their fear of humans, they do begin to act aggressively. Once that happens, they get put down.
Let’s all enjoy these bears respectfully… from a distance.