Black Bear

There’s been a black bear sighting in our neighborhood this week. Let me tell you that our neighborhood is 100 percent residential. (This is not the bear, BTW.) My understanding is that they hibernate during the winter. Of course, this knowledge comes from watching Yogi Bear cartoons years ago.

So my husband found an article about the sighting, full of tips for what to do if confronted by a bear. Keep in mind that black bears grow to about 5 feet and can weigh 100 to 600 pounds.

From the article in the Salem News:

According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, black bears usually shy away from humans. But here are some tips on what to do if you run into one:

  1. Stay calm and never approach the bear.
  2. Wave your arms and appear as big as possible.
  3. Make noise by banging objects or shouting. Do not imitate a bear's growl or other animal noises.
  4. If all else fails, throw things at the bear to get him to move on.
  5. In the unlikely event that the bear bluff charges, experts advise standing still since the bear usually uses this bluff charge as a warning before turning and moving off. If attacked by a black bear, be aggressive and fight back.
Be aggressive and fight back? If a bear catches me in its sights, I'd say my last prayer. Of course, if I could fight it off with my bare hands (get it…BARE hands), think of the poems that would come from the experience.


Goodnight, Mom said…
Wow, a bear in the suburbs! Kinda scary! I love the tips, they should come in very useful for child rearing. I'll have to use the one about waving my arms and appearing as big as possible the next time Jack mouths off!
jillypoet said…
How exciting! We had a bear in our suburb, once! It was when I was a nanny and didn't actually live here, just worked here. It was very exciting. There were occassional bear sightings near my parent' summer camp in the Adirondacks when I was a kid. I always wanted to see one. I know for sure I would've just stared, not waved my arms or tried to appear big. Glad I know now! And yes, will definitely try that with my kids!
I love bears, but they don't seem right in the suburbs... I like the instructions, I'll remember them and yes it would make a great poem
JimK said…
A big stick makes you look
a lot more threatening.
Black bears don't attack in
the thick of bear country.
We get some this starving winter.
Note: birdfeeders, dogfood, catfood,
trash, compost scraps.
Mr PoetMom said…
My brother's suggestion as a replacement for tip number 5:

Fight back as though your life depended on it!!
Anonymous said…
Right. I'm going to THROW THINGS at a bear. For real. Sheesh.
Anonymous said…
Play dead. You want to appear as less a threat as possible. These tips are horrible.
January said…
I can't judge the credibility of anyone who says these tips are horrible but leaves an anonymous post. What do you know about bears anyway?

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