Saturday, June 24, 2006

and then the bears came home



Entering Banff National Park, I was given some very helpful reading material. It was a pamphlet on how to deal with encounters with bison, cougars and elk, but I was particularly drawn to the section on bears.

"Most encounters with bears end without injury. If a bear actually makes contact, you may increase your chances of survival by following these guidelines. In general, there are 2 kinds of attack:

DEFENSIVE
What is the bear's behaviour?
The bear is feeding, protecting its young and/or unaware of your presence. It attacks because it sees you as a threat. This is the most COMMON type of attack.
Use bear spray.
If the bear makes contact with you: PLAY DEAD!
PLAY DEAD. Lie on your stomach with legs apart and position your arms so that your hands are crossed behind your neck. This position makes you less vulnerable to being flipped over and protects your face, the back of your head and neck. Remain still until you are sure the bear has left the area.

These defensive attacks are generally less than two minutes in duration. If the attack continues, it may mean the attack has shifted from defensive to predatory - FIGHT BACK!

PREDATORY
What is the bear's behaviour?
The bear is stalking (hunting) you along a trail and then attacks. Or, the bear attacks you at night.
Try to escape into a building, car or up a tree.
If you cant escape, DONT PLAY DEAD.
Use bear spray and fight back!
FIGHT BACK! Intimidate that bear: shout; hit it with a branch or rock, do whatever it takes to let the bear know you are not easy prey. This kind of attack is very rare but it is serious because it usually means the bear is looking for food and preying on you.

Bottom line? It is very difficult to predict the best strategy to use in the event of a bear attack. That is why it is so important to put thought and energy into avoiding an encounter in the first place."

***

So what I'm hearing is that if you encounter a deadly grizzly bear, stay calm, carefully analyze the bear behavior and either play dead or for the love of G-D, whatever you do, DO NOT play dead!!

Thanks Parks Canada.

4 comments:

Lx said...

didn't work for Timothy Treadwell.

Rachel said...

Which? Playing dead or fighting back? Although I guess whatever he did worked well for the first 10 or so years he lived with the bears, right?

Lx said...

doood-acious...i don't give a shite what the Canadian Park authority says; I ain't lyin' down on my stomach with my legs spread like some fucking dead meat. i am running like the white mothafucka that i am, who grew up in the hoods of Washington DC and had to use the same evasive maneuvers in eXcaping large hordes of blood-thirsty black kids intent on breaking the legs of any white boy in sight.

capish??

Lx said...

re: Treadwell; check out Herzog's documentary about him. it's fantastic. what he did, in the end, was stupid, but he knew he was going to eventually go out in that manner. and you cannot help but respect a man who foreshadows his own death; even its means. tip o' the hat; too bad he had to take out his innocent girlfriend.