FEROCIOUS ANIMALS

What to do when you encounter a bear? These tips could save your life

Anyone who is used to wandering in the woods and mountains knows that encountering a wild bear is a very unlikely experience. Bears are often frightened of humans and do not approach them, but if this should happen, what should one do? 

Recently, in Italy, a boy unfortunately died as a result of a wild bear attack, but this is a rather rare and dramatic event. In any case, one can never be too careful, and it could be very helpful to know what to do in the event of an encounter with a bear, especially if you are out and about alone.

The US government has long since issued general guidelines on how to behave and how to react in the event of a close encounter with this huge animal, which is often just curious, but sometimes also very dangerous if certain rules are not followed.

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What to do when you encounter a bear? These tips could save your life
Anyone who is used to wandering in the woods and mountains knows that encountering a wild bear is a very unlikely experience. Bears are often frightened of humans and do not approach them, but if this should happen, what should one do? Recently, in Italy, a boy unfortunately died as a result of a wild bear attack, but this is a rather rare and dramatic event. In any case, one can never be too careful, and it could be very helpful to know what to do in the event of an encounter with a bear, especially if you are out and about alone. The US government has long since issued general guidelines on how to behave and how to react in the event of a close encounter with this huge animal, which is often just curious, but sometimes also very dangerous if certain rules are not followed.
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Most encounters end without injuries
This is the first thing to bear in mind. Bears are not interested in humans, at most they are a little curious about them, but most of the time they are scared of them. Obviously, there are certain guidelines that should be respected. The most important, in terms of prevention, are two: keep your distance from the bear and do not surprise it if it has not noticed your presence.
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Try to identify yourself: you are a human being, not prey
US government guidelines obviously dictate that you should remain calm and, above all, try to identify yourself as a human being. Speak in a low voice, but in such a way that the bear can hear you. Also, try to wave your arms slightly, but always in a calm, quiet, non-aggressive manner. In this way the bear should understand what you are, not prey but a human. Also remember that when bears stand up on their hind legs, it is not a sign of aggression but only of curiosity.
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Adjust the sounds you make
In general, keeping calm is the best way not to be injured during an encounter with a bear. In fact, a scream or sudden movement can easily trigger an attack, more out of fear on the part of the animal than anything else. Also, never imitate the bear's sounds (absolutely never, it is taken as a threat) and do not emit high-pitched shrieks. The bear often reacts defensively by yelping, yawning, salivating, growling, clenching its jaws and pricking up its ears.
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Take young children now
If you are in the company of young children, they are likely to react by screaming, shrieking or making sudden movements. It is important to catch them immediately and hold them close to you, if necessary plugging their mouths to prevent them from screaming. The bear may mistake these sounds as the cry of a prey animal: then that's when the trouble begins.
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Turn in groups
Hiking in a group, especially in an area where the presence of bears is known (you need to know if there are bears, so informing yourself is essential) drastically decreases the possibility of being attacked. A group makes much more noise, and emits much stronger and unpleasant odours, and in this way wild animals, including bears, will keep away.
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Make yourself as big as possible
This is not by yelling and kicking, nor by opening your arms and waving them furiously. Perhaps a good idea is to move to higher ground so that the bear is forced to observe from below.
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Do not allow them to have access to your food
You must not allow the bear to have access to your food source. This will only encourage the bear to follow you for even more food, and it will also make things worse for other hikers coming after you. Also, dropping or abandoning your backpack is strongly discouraged: this could provide great protection to your back.
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If the bear is stationary move away
Do not run, ever: bears run as fast as a horse. Never have your back to them, but back away slowly and especially sideways: this will prevent you from stumbling and you can keep an eye on the animal's movements.
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Don't climb trees
Bad, bad idea. Despite to their enormous mass, bears can safely climb trees, so sheltering on one will not help you in any way.
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Maximum attention to females with puppies
Be particularly cautious if you see a female with cubs; never get between the mother and her cub and never try to approach them. The chances of an attack are greatly increased if the female perceives you as a danger to her cubs.
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