Be(ar) Careful

While depicted as friendly and harmless creatures on television, a bear can pose a tremendous threat to anyone who acts recklessly around them. As there was a recent warning and sighting of a black bear on the Blair campus, here are some pointers and ways to best avoid bear-based conflict:

  1. Try to remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
  2. Give the bear plenty of room and allow it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you’re too close, so back away.
  3. If you see a bear but the bear doesn’t see you, detour quickly and quietly.
    1. You want it to know you’re human, so talk in a normal voice and wave your arms.
    2. You can throw something onto the ground if the bear pursues you, as it may distract it and allow you to escape.
  4. Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view. In fact, many bears charge as a bluff. They may run at you, but abruptly stop. Stand your ground firmly and when it stops, slowly backpedal away. NEVER RUN FROM A BEAR. They will chase you, running at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. If there is a tree near you, don’t even think about climbing it, as both black and grizzly bears can climb trees.

If the bear attacks, try the following tips:

  1. Be loud, wave your arms, and stand your ground.
  2. Be aggressive. Fight back!
  3. If you are SURE the bear attacking is a mother who is protecting her cubs, play possum.
  4. If you have pepper spray, begin spraying when the bear is  within 40 feet of you. That way the bear will runs into the cloud of spray as it chases you. .

Be(ar) careful out there, Bucs.

(Copyright 2019 Sean Um)

Sean Um


Editor in the Oracle, staff writer since freshman year, class of '22, loves writing about media, politics, movies, etc.