What Should You Do If A Bear Charges At You? A Professional Bear Guide Demonstrates How To Save Yourself

Prevention is always better than cure!

by Nikitha Sebastian
What Should You Do If A Bear Charges At You? A Professional Bear Guide Demonstrates How To Save Yourself

A trek through the wilderness can be an exhilarating adventure, but it’s vital to remember you might be sharing the territory with bears. While these majestic creatures are usually wary of humans, a surprise encounter can escalate quickly. So, here’s what you do if a bear charges at you.

What Should You Do If A Bear Charges At You?

Here’s where a professional guide’s experience is invaluable. A video shared on the social media platform X (Formerly, Twitter), shows how a professional bear guide handles the situation when a bear charges at him. In the video, a brown bear can be seen growling and running towards the guide. He, in turn, yells and runs at the bear, effectively making the bear run away. Acting aggressively seems to be the right way in this particular situation.

Assess the situation – is it a bluff charge or a genuine attack? Bluff charges are more common. The bear might puff itself up, make loud noises, and charge with short bursts, then veer off. In this case, stand tall, wave your arms slowly above your head, and speak firmly but calmly. Back away slowly while keeping an eye on the bear.

Also Read: Home To 150 Sloth Bears, Karnataka Has India’s And Asia’s First-Ever Sloth Bear Sanctuary That’s Beary Unique

Grizzly Brown Or Black Bear?

If the charge seems more aggressive, and you’re in grizzly or brown bear territory, the strategy changes. Here, playing dead is your best bet. Lie flat on your stomach, with your legs spread apart. Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands, keeping your backpack on for added protection. Stay completely still and silent – you’re aiming to convince the bear you’re not a threat. Don’t get up immediately; wait several minutes until you’re sure the bear has left the area.

However, if you’re in black bear territory, the approach differs. Black bears are more likely to be opportunistic feeders, so fighting back is your best course of action.  Use any means available to defend yourself – bear spray, rocks, sticks – aim for the bear’s face to deter it. Remember, bear spray is your most effective defence tool. Carry it readily accessible on your person, and know how to use it properly.

Also Read: Video: IFS Officer Debunks Myth About Bears Inability To Climb Trees; Internet Says, “Our Childhood Was A Lie!”

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Avoid areas with abundant food sources like berry patches, and never approach cubs – a mother bear fiercely protects her young. By following these tips you can minimise the risk of a bear encounter and enjoy a safe and memorable wilderness experience.

Cover Image Courtesy: @AMAZlNGNATURE/  /X (Formerly, Twitter)

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