Many people like to enjoy nature closely, by hiking in back country and mountainsides. But when you are in bear country, which is growing every day, you should be careful and prepared.
Of the bear attacks on record, the Black Bear holds the numbers on attacks, as well as sightings and encounters. Don’t take chances with any wildlife species, especially known predatory species.
The biggest problems we have with bears are caused by irresponsible humans feeding wild bears. Once a bear lose fear of man they become aggressive to other humans who do not have food for them. Click Here For Information On Bear Attacks.
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Relationships With Humans
Livestock and Crop Damage
Livestock depredations by black bears occur mostly in spring. A limitation of food sources in early spring and wild berry and nut crop failures during summer months are probably major contributing factors. black bears can do extensive damage in some areas of the northwestern states by stripping the bark from trees and feeding on the cambium.
Though black bears will attack adult cattle and horses, they seem to prefer sheep, goats, calves, and pigs. They normally kill by biting the neck and shoulders, though they may break the neck or back of prey with blows from the paws. Evidence of a bear attack includes claw marks are being frequently found on the neck, back, and shoulders of these larger animals. Surplus killing of sheep and goats are relatively common. Bears have been known to frighten livestock herds over cliffs, causing injuries and death to many animals; whether or not this is intentional is not known.
Attacks On Humans
Like many animals, they seldom attack unless cornered, threatened, or wounded. They are less likely to attack humans than grizzly bears and typically flee for cover as soon as they identify a human visitor. Deaths by black bear, though, are most often predatory, while the more numerous grizzly fatalities on humans are often defensive. This makes feigning death when a black bear attacks ineffective. Although 16 North Americans have been killed since the year 2000, it is estimated that there have been only 56 documented killings of humans by black bears in North America in the past 100 years.
The best way to get away from an
aggressive bear is by running.
Running away will likely trigger a
chase response, and you can’t outrun
a bear. Bears can run as fast as a
racehorse for short distances, and
can run faster than the fastest human
in any direction, including uphill.
FWC shares black bear conservation success, solicits feedback on new bear management plan
After dwindling to as few as 300 bears in the 1970s, the Florida black bear population has rebounded to an estimated 3,000 bears today. Bears and their cubs roam forests and swamps from Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle to Ocala National Forest in the state’s midsection and Big Cypress National Preserve in Southwest Florida.
PANAMA CITY – Like he has been doing three times a week for the past four years, John Hearn got on his bicycle Thursday at 6:10 a.m. to ride12 miles to work at Tyndall Air Force Base. But as he rode along U.S. 98 at 23 miles per hour, his routine was interrupted at 6:40 by something very unexpected. “I saw something big and black out of the corner of my eye,” Hearn said. “Then it hit me and I felt bear all over my leg.” Hearn was broadsided by a black bear that was about 250 to 300 pounds. The collision knocked him, his bike and the bear over. Drivers stopped at the red light on the highway near Tyndall watched in utter shock. READ THE REST OF THE STORY