Beware the Bear: Advice for Not Getting Bitten by a Bear

I’ve been warning my fellow Connecticutioners that nature is coming for us all, but apparently one hiker missed the message. Last week a woman walking on a trail in Burlington encountered a bear. She didn’t run. She didn’t scream. She didn’t poke it in the eye. And she didn’t go all Timothy Treadwell and try to hug it. She did, however, take a video.

The bear is dead. You don’t get to nip a human calf and go on living. DEEP will toss him on that bear compost pile that had people fake outraged a few weeks back, and that will be the end.

This is becoming more and more common in Connecticut. Earlier this month a bear chased some joggers in Granby and had to be killed. I fully assume my dog and I will die at the powerful paws of a bear when we cross one on a hiking path and my dog–who knows no fear–loses her mind and goes into full on rage mode at the sight of the ursine interloper. But I’m trying to stave off that inevitability.

So here’s the deal people: Yes, bears are cute, but you can’t feed them and you can’t do anything else that habituates them to the presence of humans because they end up following hikers and nipping their calves, only to end up going viral and eventually being put down. Here’s a much better video that shows you how to handle a bear if you run into one in the wild:

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s what the National Park Service says to do when you see a bear:

If you are in a developed area (e.g., campground, parking lot, lodging area) or if a bear approaches you, act immediately to scare it away: make as much noise as possible by yelling very loudly (don’t worry about waking people up if it’s nighttime). If you are with other people, stand together to present a more intimidating figure, but do not surround the bear. Bear spray/pepper spray is not allowed in Yosemite.

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