This whole episode got me to thinking about those bears. I have lived before in an area full of bears (Banff National Park) and in the year I lived there I personally only came across 2of them. Each time I was not too afraid and never gave them a second thought. That being said I was not a mother then.
How motherhood changes us. This recent close encounter made me realize too what a mother bear feels when she sees a human near her cubs - more likely to be defensive in order to protect them. We have a lot in common. Mothers and Mother Bears. Wanting to protect our young.
I respect bears and I realise too that we as humans have encroached on their land and we need to be mindful of them more so than they of us. I no longer go for walks in the woods at the back of our house. It is getting cooler and they are out gathering food and now it is there time to explore the woods. I had the summer to do this and they can have the fall. I want to avoid the bears encounter with humans and the only way that I know how to do this is to allow them their space. The more encounters they have with humans the more likely that one day they will be destroyed.
I have researched to on what to do should I encounter a bear in my daily outings. My first instinct would be to run. This is probably the worst thing to do as the bear will run after you.
-- Stand still, perhaps with your hands over your head to appear bigger
-- Talk to the bear in a monotone voice
-- Watch the bear but DO NOT make eye contact, never turn your back on a bear.
-- The bear make a "pretend" charge or get on its hind legs and make loud grunting noises. It is important to stand your ground - he is just testing the situation.
-- If the bear seems uninterested in you slowly back away - still facing the bear, still talking. If he moves closer stop and hold your ground.
-- Once the bear has decided that you are not a threat to the bear and walks away - it is then safe to do so. Always keep the bear in view and DO NOT RUN.
DO NOT FEED BEARS
DO NOT APPROACH BEARS
GIVE BEARS THEIR SPACE
Armed with this information I feel a little more comfortable out and about in 'Bear Country'. I am more BEAR AWARE.