Monday, July 4, 2011

Woman in bear attack likely alive during mauling - British Columbia - CBC News

Woman in bear attack likely alive during mauling - British Columbia - CBC News

For my readers from other countries as well as  Canada and United States, I did some research on bears which I have posted below. 

The following is the Provincial Government information sheet on Bear safety:

A FED BEAR IS A DEAD BEAR (This means they become troublesome and have to be shot)

There are some simple precautions you must take to prevent the food conditioning of bears and avoid dangerous bear encounters.

Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife.

Reduce or eliminate odours that attract bears

Avoid strong smelling foods and perfumed toiletries.

Food Storage

At the campground, store food in air-tight containers in your RV or car trunk.

Pack out all your garbage. Store it with your food out of reach of bears. Do not bury garbage or throw into pit toilets. Only paper and wood may be burned: plastics, tinfoil, and food items do not burn completely, and the remains will attract bears (besides creating an unsightly mess).

Avoid fish smells -- they are a strong attractant for bears. Don’t clean fish in your campsite. Throw entrails into deep or fast-flowing water, and double-bag fishy-smelling garbage.

Cook and eat well away from your tent.

Clean up immediately and thoroughly. Never leave cooking utensils, coolers, grease or dish water lying around. Dispose of dish water by straining it then throwing it into a gray water pit or pit toilet. Solids should be packed out with the garbage.

The odours of cosmetics, toothpaste and insect repellent can attract bears. These should be stored out of reach with your food and garbage, never in your tent. Leave strongly perfumed items at home.

Always keep children nearby and in sight.

Always sleep in a tent -- not under the stars.

Hike trails as a group.

Solo hiking is not advised -- you reduce the risk of an attack by traveling together as a group. Do not let children wander.

Leave pets at home.

Free-running pets can anger a bear and provoke an attack.

Reduce the chance of surprising a bear.

Always check ahead for bears in the distance. If one is spotted, make a wide detour and leave the area immediately.

Do not approach bears on shore for a better view while paddling a canoe or boat.

When traveling against the wind or near loud moving water, use extreme caution. Make loud warning sounds.

Watch for bear sign: tracks, droppings, overturned rocks, rotten trees torn apart, clawed, bitten or rubbed trees, bear trails, fresh diggings or trampled vegetation.

Stay clear of dead wildlife.

Take note of signs that may indicate carrion -- such as circling crows or ravens, or the smell of rotting meat.

Carcasses attract bears. Leave the area immediately!

If in a Provincial Park, report location of carcasses to park Staff

Camp in designated areas.

In general:

Never approach or feed bears

If you have an encounter with a bear in public areas, please leave the area immediately and report it to authorities as soon as possible.

Stay on designated trails and comply with posted warnings.

Bear pepper sprays have been effective in deterring some bear attacks. However, do not use them as a substitute for safe practices in bear country. Know how to use them. Avoidance is still your best bet.

Other wildlife may pose a threat. Moose can become very agitated and aggressive when approached too closely, particularly cows with calves. Please use binoculars and telephoto lenses for wildlife viewing.


Bears are as fast as a racehorse, on the flats, uphill or downhill

Bears are strong swimmers.

Bears have good eyesight, good hearing, and an acute sense of smell.

All black bears and young grizzlies are agile tree climbers; mature grizzlies are poor climbers, but they have a reach up to 4 metres.

If a bear is standing up it is usually trying to identify you. Talk softly so it knows what you are. Move away, keeping it in view. Do not make direct eye contact.


Identifying bears is important if you are ever approached by one.

Black Bear (Ursus americanus Pallas)
Colour: Varies. Black, brown, cinnamon or blond, often with a white patch on the chest or at the throat.
Height: Approximately 90 cm at the shoulder.
Weight: 57 kg to >270 kg. Females are usually smaller than males.
Characteristics: straight face profile short, curved claws barely noticeable shoulder hump

Habitat: Prefers forested areas with low-growing plants and berry-producing shrubs (e.g. small forest openings, stream or lake edges, open forest).

Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis Ord)

Colour: Varies. Black (rare), brown or blond. Fur often white-tipped or "grizzled". Light-coloured patches may occur around neck, shoulders and on rear flanks.

Height: Slightly above 1 metre at shoulder; 1.8 to 2 m erect.

Weight: 200 kg to >450 kg. Females are usually smaller than males.

Characteristics: dished or concave face long, curved claws prominent shoulder hump

Habitat: Semi-open spaces preferred. High country in late summer and early fall; valley bottoms late fall and spring.


If spotted in the distance, do not approach the bear. Make a wide detour or leave the area immediately. If in an Provincial Park, report sighting to Park Staff at the first opportunity.

If you are at close range, do not approach the bear. Remain calm, keep it in view. Avoid direct eye contact. Move away without running.

If the Bear Approaches

If the bear is standing up, it is usually trying to identify you. Talk softly so it knows what you are. If it is snapping its jaws, lowering its head, flattening its ears, growling or making 'woofing' signs, it is displaying aggression.

Do not run unless you are very close to a secure place. Move away, keeping it in view. Avoid direct eye contact. Dropping your pack or an object may distract it to give you more time. If it is a grizzly, consider climbing a tree.

If the Bear Attacks

Your response depends on the species and whether the bear is being defensive or offensive. Bears sometimes bluff their way out of a confrontation by charging then turning away at the last moment. Generally, the response is to do nothing to threaten or further arouse the bear. While fighting back usually increases the intensity of an attack, it may cause the bear to leave. Each incident is unique and the following are offered as guidelines only to deal with an unpredictable animal and complex situation:

Grizzly Attacks From Surprise (defensive)

Do nothing to threaten or further arouse the bear.

Play dead. Assume the 'cannonball position' with hands clasped behind neck and face buried in knees.

Do not move until the bear leaves the area. Such attacks seldom last beyond a few minutes.

Black Bear Attacks From Surprise (defensive)

Playing dead is not appropriate. Try to retreat from the attack.

Grizzly or Black Bear Attacks Offensively (including stalking you or when you are sleeping)

Do not play dead. Try to escape to a secure place (car or building) or climb a tree unless it is a black bear. If you have no other option, try to intimidate the bear with deterrents or weapons such as tree branches or rocks.

Grizzly or Black Bear Attacking For Your Food

Abandon the food. Leave the area.

Do not deal with a problem bear unless it is an emergency

This information is very valuable for people who travel in bear country.  I personally have never seen a bear nor a cougar nor a rattlesnake in all my years of living in Canada.  The only wild animal I have ever seen running in an isolated area was a red fox and he was gone before I could get a good look at him.

Thus, on the main, Canada is a very safe country to live or travel in.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you found it interesting and useful for general knowledge.

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