For most people, the thought of a grizzly bear is scary. Who could blame them? If you have ever seen a grizzly bear in the wild, the looming creature with powerful jaws and sharp claws might seem like it would kill you. If they sense that they are being threatened or attacked, grizzlies will sometimes attack rather than run away. Learning how to survive a grizzly bear encounter might sound intimidating but it really isn’t as complicated as one may think. Can a grizzly bear climb trees?
1. Understand The Grizzly Bear In Your Area
Not all grizzlies are the same. Some bear habitats include mountainous areas, where others inhabit forests and others deal with open plains. If you plan to visit one of these several habitats, it would be wise to learn about local grizzly bears before you set foot into these territories. You should take note of reported sightings and instances of human-bear conflict in the area that you are going to be visiting. Knowing how a species interacts with their environment can help you avoid a grizzly bear encounter as well as inform you on how to react when an encounter does happen.
2. Know How To Identify A Grizzly Bear
If you are planning on visiting grizzly bear habitats, it is important to know how to identify them. There are four kinds of grizzlies: the brown/grizzly, the Kodiak Island, the coastal Alaskan and the polar. Each of these bears have distinct appearances that make it easy for you to know how to identify a grizzly bear from other brown bears. For instance, brown/grizzly bears have an obvious hump on their shoulders and a straight profile or profile with a slight curve.
3. What To Do If You See A Grizzly Bear
Grizzlies are omnivores which means that they eat both plants and animals. They are also opportunistic feeders, so the grizzly can eat almost anything that they come across. They mainly hunt small mammals and they have been known to attack people while scavenging for food.
4. How To Avoid A Grizzly Bear Encounter
The best way to avoid a grizzly bear encounter is to stay on trails and away from any habitation areas. If you are in a mountainous area, you may want to consider hiking with others or simply wear reflective clothing instead of wearing bright clothing to be more visible in the wild. Some of these things will help keep you safe from a grizzly bear encounter but it is important that you still stay aware of grizzlies during your travels.
5. Observe The Grizzly Bear
Grizzlies also rove through their habitats and head to water holes or wooded areas when they are resting or looking for food. If you hear a bear roaring in the distance, you should avoid that area until the animal goes away. Sometimes grizzlies will travel in groups called “herds”. This means that there is an established hierarchy within the group and those at the top of this hierarchy are more aggressive while those at the bottom of the hierarchy may be more docile. When traveling with other people, make sure you watch how your group interacts with a grizzly bear and if you feel threatened it would be best for you to stay calm and avoid conflict.
6. How To Respond In A Grizzly Bear Encounter
If you see a grizzly bear and it notices you, you should make sure that the bear can notice your presence as well. Grizzly bears are also omnivores and they would rather not fight if they can avoid it. When grizzlies notice your presence, they will stop what they are doing and stare at you. The right way to respond in this situation is by sitting or standing upright with your eyes facing forward. Avoid making eye contact but do not stare at the animal either because this may seem like a form of aggression. Stay still until the grizzly leaves the area that you are in.
7. Bear Etiquette
There are certain things that you should not do when a grizzly bear is around. Do not run away or scream, this could frighten the bear and cause it to charge at you. If you are hiking in an area where bears are known to be, it is best to turn your back and look away when they approach. Unless they are aggressive, always avoid making eye contact with a grizzly bear or getting too close to it either because this is not the way that they want their food provided from their environment.
8. Keep Away From Bears
Sometimes grizzlies have learned that when people are around, food is easily found so they may try to attack you. The best way for you to avoid a grizzly bear encounter is to stay on trails and away from any settlements or areas where there are no people. You can also take precautions by making sure that your vehicle is a sound one that would not be easily damaged by a grizzly bear attack.