Terrifying Moment as a Hiker Successfully Scares Off Two Black Bears by Making Himself as Large as Possible - A-Z Animals
The guy in this clip is giving us a masterclass on how to behave if you encounter some black bears while you are out hiking. The most important thing is to stay calm as most of the time the bears are simply curious and will soon move past you. They can sound a bit scary, but they are mainly interested in whether you have any food to offer them!
Watch the Action Now
Where Do Black Bears Normally Live?
American black bears are found in large areas of Canada and the US including much of Alaska. They prefer inaccessible terrain with a thick understory of vegetation where they can hide out. This vegetation also provides them with their main source of food which is tree-borne soft or hard mast. Sometimes, they move out into more open sites to feed on prickly pear cacti. In some areas, they help themselves to agricultural crops. In others, they can be found in suburban areas looking for food amongst human houses and businesses!
How Do Bears Normally Behave?
Seeing a bear in the wild is exciting and a privilege. Most of the time, they will not be interested in you. However, you need to remember that they are wild animals and have the potential to cause injury. Most bears will avoid you if they can hear you coming. You are most likely to encounter them near food sources such as berry bushes.
American black bears are usually crepuscular. This means that they are most active first thing in the morning and last thing at night. However, their patterns of behavior alter with the seasons. Also, where they have been accustomed to helping themselves to human food and garbage they can be active at any time of the day. These are intelligent and curious creatures with a fantastic sense of smell.
What You Should Do if a Bear Approaches You
The US National Park Service gives clear advice on what you should do if a bear has noticed you and is paying you attention. The first thing you need to do is identify yourself as a human. Humans are not a prey animal for bears. Once they understand that you are a person, they are more likely to leave you alone. Stand your ground and slowly wave your arms. You may notice that the bear stands on their hind legs to get a better look at you or to smell you better.
It’s important to stay calm and talk to the bear in a low tone. This will also make you feel calmer and will confirm that you are a human. If you scream and start running around you are behaving like a prey animal and this is not a good idea!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Frank Fichtmüller/iStock via Getty Images