For the second Predator Monday, I decided to dedicate this post to bears. Bears are one of the most feared creatures known to man. Like most predators, bears are a little scarier than your average kitten but a little less scary than the Lionfish, which is one of the most venomous fish the sea has to offer. While most bears will not attack a human unless provoked, it can still occur. Therefore, learning about bears and how to understand and coexist with them is essential for any person planning on spending any time out in the wilderness. There are three main types of bears in North America:
The Brown Bear
The Brown bear is a mostly solitary animal, but will come together for salmon spawning season and to mate. Their diets consist of fish, nuts, leaves, fruit and roots. They also sometimes consume other animals such as rodents or carrion left by other predators. They live approximately 25 years in the wild, can be 5 to 8 feet in length, and weigh generally around 700 lbs.
The Black Bear
Black bears are also generally solitary animals, and congregate most often to mate. The Black bear diet varies little from that of the Brown bear, eating mostly grasses, berries, insects and small mammals and roots. However, the Black bear becomes more easily accustomed to consuming human food and trash. They generally have a shorter life span than the Brown bear at about 20 years. They are also smaller in length (5-6 feet) and weight (200-600 lbs)
The Polar Bear
The Polar bear is possibly the most widely known bear in the world, partially because of their breathtaking appearance and partially because of their vulnerable species status. The polar bear is beloved by people everywhere for their pure white fur and soulful eyes, but due to the sudden disappearance of their natural habitat, their numbers are declining rapidly. Like the Black bear, the Polar bear can also become quickly adapted to eating human trash. However, the similarity in their diets essentially ends there. Polar bears eat mostly seals, but are also prone to consuming already dead prey, such as whales or other carcasses. Polar bears have the longest average lifespan between 25 and 30 years. They are also by far the largest, at 7-9 feet and 900 to 1,600 lbs.
Bear safety tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you are out in the wilderness, be sure to keep your senses on alert for things such as bear tracks, fresh feces, and feeding sites. If you encounter any of these things, a bear may be nearby. Consider leaving the area to avoid surprising any bears.
- Never hike alone. Hiking with a partner isn’t only fun, it is a lot safer.
- Do not hike at sunrise, sunset, or at night. Bears are generally more active at this time.
- If you encounter any remains, promptly but quietly vacate the area. Bears and other predators may be nearby, having fed upon or planning on feeding upon the carcass.
- As is always recommended, keep all trash and food secure. Tie trash up in the trees while camping, and keep any food inaccessible to predators.
If you do come upon a bear:
- If you see a bear at a far distance, do not approach it. Vacate the area.
- If you stumble upon a bear at close range, back away slowly. Running may trigger the bear into chasing you, and climbing a tree will not put you out of its range, as bears can also climb trees.
- If a bear charges you, stand your ground. The bear will most likely cease the charge. If the bear continues to charge and makes contact with you, play dead. Lie on your stomach and protect your head and neck with your arms and hands. Stay in this position for a while; the bear may be a mother and may require time to remove her cubs from the area.
Bears are one of the most fascinating creatures this world has to offer, and it is extremely important that they are allowed to exist peacefully and without human interference. I hope this post was informative; feel free to drop a comment or a like down below. As always, you can follow this blog on Facebook and Instagram also. Thanks for reading, and follow for future posts!