Bears and Humans

How Dangerous Are Black Bears?

By Lynn Rogers, PhD In working closely with wild bears for over 50 years, I have gradually become more and more comfortable with them as I learned their “language” and…

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What If I See a Black Bear?

This is probably the most common question we hear. The standard answer nationwide is, “Speak calmly and back away slowly.”  This is good advice.  It identifies you as a person,…

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What If I See a Bear That Seems Threatening?

This picture shows harmless bluster by a nervous black bear—a mature female. She made her muzzle long and narrow, lunged forward, blew loudly, and slammed her front feet down into…

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If a Black Bear Senses I’m Afraid, Will It Attack?

No.  Most people are afraid near bears and are not attacked. Black bears are not looking for a vulnerable person to attack.  Their first concern is that they will be…

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What If I Get Between a Black Bear Mother and Her Cubs?

One of the biggest misconceptions about black bears is that mothers are likely to attack people in defense of cubs. That is a grizzly bear trait.  70% of the killings…

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What Does Steve Herrero Say About Mothers Defending Cubs?

In his book “Bear Attacks” (1985), biologist Steve Herrero described experiences of researchers with mother black bears and cubs. Herrero wrote: “Researchers studying black bears confirm that black bear females…

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What About Bears and Dogs?

Black bears usually run away when dogs chase them. Even the smallest breeds of dogs have scared black bears away. However, bears learn to ignore dogs that are tied up…

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What If I Corner a Black Bear?

Bear Center researchers wonder where the worry about cornering a black bear comes from.  It is next to impossible to corner a bear in the woods.  When researchers have tried…

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What If a Black Bear Ignores Me and Doesn’t Run Away?

Some black bears have learned to trust people who behave predictably in expected locations.  These bears expect to see nonaggressive people in campgrounds or residential areas. These bears are not…

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What If I Want to Watch a Black Bear I See?

Seeing a wild black bear, especially a mother with cubs, is a rare opportunity.  Seeing a bear before it detects you is a chance to learn what bears do. When…

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What If I Meet a Black Bear That Wants to Eat Me?

When a black bear approaches, how can you tell the difference between a curious bear, one that wants to eat your food, and one that wants to eat you? We…

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How to Shoo a Black Bear?

Bears that are used to people may be harder to chase away.  Most people hang back.  Some enjoy watching.  Others bang pans, which bears get used to.  Generally when people…

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What Is a “Nuisance” Black Bear?

A “nuisance” is any black bear someone considers unwelcome.  Everyone has a different idea about what makes a bear unwelcome and what merits removal from a population. In many examples…

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When Bears Steal Human Food, Don’t Blame Mom

Science Daily, from the May 2008 Journal of Mammalogy Black bears that eat human food and garbage do not necessarily learn this behavior from their mothers as previously assumed. Researchers…

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