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Are bear attacks common?

Unprovoked bear attacks are rare. Injuries have occurred when people encounter bears while they are feeding or when they get too close to a mother bear protecting her cubs.

 

According to bear expert Lynn Rogers, Ph.D. of the North American Bear Center says you are 45 times more likely to be killed by a dog, 120 times more likely to be killed by bees, and 60,000 times more likely to be murdered by another human being, than to be killed by a black bear.

 

What do bears eat?

Bears are often portrayed as ferocious meat-eaters. However, with the exception of polar bears, all other bears predominantly eat vegetation, consuming more plants than animals.

 

Does bear hunting solve the human-bear conflict?

There is no scientific basis to support the claim that a trophy hunt will solve the problem.  In the past 27 years, at least eight scientific studies were conducted in regards to hunting bears and the impact hunting has on the reduction of bear-human conflicts. These studies found no significant correlations between the hunting of bears and subsequent human-bear conflicts or that removing more bears reduced subsequent conflict.

 

Hunting does not reduce bear-human conflicts or the number of bears that frequent residential areas because hunters remove non-problem bears from the population, targetting large bears deep in the woods.

 

Are there solutions to human-bear conflict?

Bears have ready access to garbage and food.  Removing bear attractants and learning to live with bears is the solution. The number one contributor to bear human-conflicts is trash. If we apply common- sense measures such as, bear-proof trash bins and securing garbage until morning pickup,  we can resolve these issues and prevent future incidents. These methods have proven successful in States across the country, as well as in national parks.

 

If I get a bear-proof trash can, won’t the bears still smell the garbage and be drawn to it anyway?

The bears may initially return. Once the bears learn they no longer have easy access to food from trashcans, they will no longer frequent residential areas in search of food.
 

 

What is bear baiting?

Bear Baiting consists of luring bears to specific sites using food attractants. Hunters hide in blinds near the site for a shot at point-blank range. Bear baiting is contradictory to the idea of fair chase and causes “nuisance” bears by creating unnatural habits and a taste for human foods.

 

Many wildlife biologists are moving to ban the use of bait.  Baiting encourages abnormal behaviors in bears which leads to human habituation and food conditioning.  Feeding bears human food contributes to potential conflicts and property damage, changes in bear behavior and foraging habits, increased or sustained reproductive rate, physical size, distribution, and numbers.

 

Read biologist Tom Eveland's literature review here: https://www.savenjbears.com/pdf/BearBaitingReport.pdf

 

Currently, there are twenty-six States that do not allow the baiting of deer. Other, States such as Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Wisconsin have made efforts towards restricting baiting.

 

What is Bear hounding?

Hounding is the practice of using dogs to chase and tree bears. Dogs are equipped with tracking collars, making it no problem to locate them once they have found a bear. Once bears are treed they become easy targets. During the chase bears experience an extreme amount of stress which may result in hyperthermia (overheating). As a consequence of hounding mother bears are often separated from their cubs, leaving the young orphaned or even caught and devoured by the dogs. The dogs   

 

Do people eat bear meat?

As omnivores bears often carry the parasite, Trichina Spiralis. Eating undercooked bear meat can cause trichinosis, which can cause severe sickness or even death in humans. While some indigenous tribes and subsistence hunters will at times eat bear meat, it is rare and often in times of famine.

 

What are the biggest threats to bears?

Trophy Hunters

Poachers

Vehicle Strikes

Habitat Loss

Climate Change

 

Bear Intelligence

Many wildlife biologists consider bears to be one of the most intelligent megafauna. Bears possess the largest and most complex brains relative to their size of any land mammal. In the animal kingdom, their intelligence compares with that of higher primates.
 

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