Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Monday, 3 May 2010

A Little About Black Bear Attacks

The stories of Black Bears being overly aggressive have a small basis in fact. Most people I know have a stock mental image of an uncontrolled bear rampaging causes gore and mayhem in it’s wake. I can see the picture now. Bear on hind legs, teeth out in a snarl, and claws wildly slashing. There is something in our collective unconscious which brings this fear to the surface. I think we actually enjoy it. (We all like a good scare). The fantasy ends with the bear ripping apart and devouring the victim.
The majority of Black Bear attacks come from chance encounters. A stressed Black Bear will at first lower it’s head, pop its teeth, and stamp the ground with its front feet. This is the Black Bear’s way of telling someone they are too close. All the time probably deciding whether to fight or flee. You have a much better chance of dying in a car.
Of the over 870,000 Black Bears living in the wild it is likely only one in a year will attack a human. This is with even more and more people trekking into their living areas. Through most of the 1900’s, up until 1978, there were only 11 recorded deaths from Black Bear attacks.
So, why the fear? Well basically when there is a bear attack the media will play up the most macabre aspects. These stories usually become fairly famous. (Remember the old newspaper motto, “If it bleeds, it leads”).
Like the following. In 1978 several teenage boys were fishing at the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. The young boys were mauled and killed by a single Black Bear. Authorities later pieced together what probably happened.
The boys, most likely smelling of fish, had entered the Black Bear’s territory. The bear, a young male, was later thought to not have had any experience with humans. He reacted as he would have to any other prey species. The authorities reckoned the bear stalked, attacked, and killed the three boys. A fourth luckily escaped. The bear also partially fed on two of the boys. A few days later the bear also stalked the hunters sent to dispose of it. The bear was eventually put down.
In spite of this gruesome tale Black Bears are incredibly tolerant of humans. A common sight in National Parks during the 1970’s was a family jumping out of their car to throw food to a bear and then take its picture. This still goes on today even though the parks have plenty of warnings about not doing that. Parents have been observed trying to pose their children with a Black Bear. Obviously humans have a serious problem distinguishing wild animals from domesticated animals.
A Black Bear will avoid a human if possible. They like to be left alone. Most Black Bears don’t care to get close to humans. (I suppose we smell bad). Unfortunately humans have food around them and a Black Bear is constantly hungry. One of the reason Black Bear encounters have lessened is because State Parks now ban people from throwing them food (but like I said some people still do it).
But with intensive education many people are starting to understand what part they play in Black Bear attacks. Hopefully we will not have a tragedy like above. With the Black Bear population once more on the rise we have to broaden our awareness and leave the Black Bear to be a Black Bear.
Tomorrow-Safe Black Bear-Human interaction.

No comments:

Post a Comment