What to Do if You Encounter a Bear

Tips to stay safe when coming face to face with the furry forest creature

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

July 2, 2021

Even though being attacked by a bear is rare, attacks do happen, and it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worse. Here are ways to prevent a bear encounter and what to do if you happen to come face to face with one.

First, you want to prevent coming in close contact with a bear. To do so, you should be aware of your surroundings and travel in big groups. A bear will normally avoid you if it hears people. If you are camping, never leave your food out because it will attract them.

If you do see a bear, here’s a list of things to do:

Speak Calmy – Letting the bear know you're a human and not a preying animal will help it know to avoid you.

No Sudden Movement – Running away will alarm the bear, so stay calm and remain still. Like a dog, a bear will chase fleeing animals.

Move Laterally – If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways. Moving sideways is non-threatening to bears. When you do this, make sure to leave an escape route for the bear so it doesn’t feel trapped.

Make Yourself Big – Making yourself appear as big as possible will intimidate the bear. If you're with a group of people, huddle together, and if you're alone, try to go to higher ground to appear bigger.

Never Offer Food – Giving a bear food will only encourage it to pursue you more.

Don’t Come Between a Mama Bear and Her Cub – If a mother bear senses her cubs are in danger, she will become aggressive.

Play Dead for Brown/Grizzly Bears – Only play dead if you are attacked by a brown or grizzly bear. Always leave your backpack on to protect yourself and lay flat on your stomach. If a black bear attacks you, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to find something to hit it with or kick the bear as hard as possible in the nose/muzzle area.

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