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Bear kills Hiker
#16139 07/08/11 07:33 AM
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I guess I may be in the minority when it comes to this and this is probably a controversial subject, but I am in agreement with the National Park Service not to destroy the mother Grizzly Bear in this case. This case is not like the case last year when a mother and cubs went into a campground at night and started attacking. Those bears (including the cubs) were destroyed. From what I've read in other articles (and this one), this hiker did everything he could and made right decisions when he encountered the cubs. Unfortunately, the mother bear was behind he and his wife and had accidentally come between the mother Grizzly and her cubs.

Grizzly Roams Free after Killing Hiker

It has been my belief that hikers know the risk and as pointed out in the article, an attack like this is 1 in 3 million. We all hike in areas of risk. I've seen a Mountain Lion in the area I hike locally (1 in the 12 years I've hiked the Santa Rosa Plateau.) I put myself in a situation in which I could get hurt or even killed when I hike areas that I know wildlife exists. I wouldn't want a Mountain Lion killed when I know they may be there. Same with Bears in the wild.

The National Park Service posts signs about the bears when they know cubs will be with their mothers. Everyone knows there are Grizzlies in Yellowstone. Everyone knows there have been attacks over the years, mostly non fatal. I remember attacks from many, many years ago. Hikers need to understand the risk and accept the responsibilities. My son is a surfer and has surfed many spots around the world since the age of 3 or 4. He tells me that he does get scared when he sees sharks in the water. When he sees them, he removes himself from the situation. He accepts responsibility for what a shark can do. It is impossible and wrong to put moral and human characteristics to a wild animal. In this case, the NPS was right.


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Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16144 07/08/11 10:53 AM
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Could not have said it better myself Joe.... I agree with you whole-heartedly!

Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16148 07/08/11 11:23 AM
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Joe and So Cal Girl,

I agree with both of you. I'm happy with the NPS's decision to let the Yellowstone Grizzly live and raise her cubs.

I and my friends were in Yellowstone in the summer of 2007 and we were informed by nearly everyone in the park to wear bear bells and carry pepper spray if we decided to do any trail hiking away from the touristy areas, so we bought a can of bear size pepper spray and wore bear bells so we could give the bears a fair warning we were in the area. A can of pepper spray to scare off bears is quite large...a person needs to buy the right size can at a sporting store. We never saw any grizzly bears in close proximity to where we were. We did see a grizzly at a popular viewing area tourists frequent before sunset, but we had to use high powered binoculars to see the grizzly....he was so cute playing in a meadow type area. He looked very small in the binoculars, but experts told us he/she was actually quite large. Certain areas of Yellowstone are known for grizzly bears being present, a fact that's easily learned while traveling the park. The Grand Tetons is another area where we were warned to be prepared. Hiking in the Grand Teton area is AWESOME!!!

The man and his wife may not have been in the fatal situation they found themselves in if they had only takeN a couple of precautions, but it's still a sad story for the man who probably died fighting for his life and sad for his wife who had to witness his death. I hope the wife will find peace in her heart for an act of Nature/God.


Lynnaroo
Re: Bear kills Hiker
lynn-a-roo #16155 07/08/11 02:02 PM
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A very sad day for the hikers.

I have read only recently that if a grizzly attacks, you should lie face down prone on the ground, motionless. Prone is better than curled up in a ball so you won't roll around. Motionless -- as in playing possum -- and the bear will hopefully decide it has done enough.

This way, you might well be badly scratched up, but maybe able to escape with your life.

From the article:
Quote:
WIFE SURVIVES BY PLAYING DEAD

The couple began running, but the bear caught up to them and attacked the husband, then approached the wife, who had fallen to the ground nearby.

"The bear bit her daypack, lifting her from the ground and then dropping her," the park statement said, but the woman remained still and the grizzly lumbered off.

Last edited by Steve C; 07/08/11 02:06 PM.
Re: Bear kills Hiker
Steve C #16157 07/08/11 02:36 PM
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If the great outdoors was made as safe as the great indoors I suspect most of us would simply stay on the couch.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16247 07/10/11 05:58 PM
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Man, I'm glad all we have are black bears. I saw a guy chasing one around 8 PM on Friday night! shocked

Last edited by 2600fromatari; 07/10/11 06:00 PM.
Re: Bear kills Hiker
Anonymous1 #16250 07/10/11 06:34 PM
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I just went through this list quickly on Wikipedia and have no idea if it's complete. It seems to show there are more fatal Black Bear attacks than Grizzly Bear attacks. But it is pointed out that there are many more Black Bears over a much wider range.

Fatal Bear Attacks in North America


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Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16253 07/10/11 07:02 PM
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Joe, then that guy was really ballsy because he ran at the bear like a mad man. LOL, I almost felt sorry for the thing. The pudgy thing ran off up the hill like the devil himself was after it. I was sitting in my friend's truck near the outhouse closest to the Portal Store and trail head when I saw the thing roaming around. Before I could react, this guy ran past the truck on my right side (I'm guessing he came from the Portal Store) towards the bear like it was responsible for his 401(k) losses, and the rest is history. He looked genuinely pissed.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Anonymous1 #16254 07/10/11 07:14 PM
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This is the first bear that I ever encountered in person. It was in West Virginia and she had three cubs.


When I walked toward her, she retreated very quickly. She was far from aggressive.

Going through the list that Joe posted, there have been three deaths in California. One was a wild grizzly in the 1870s, one was a captive himalayan brown bear at the san diego zoo and onee was a trained grizzly in big bear a couple of years ago.

going through the list, it seemed like many of the deaths by black bears were either captive, pets, trained or if wild....children.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
tdtz #16268 07/11/11 06:25 AM
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2600fromatari; that sounds like the story about John Muir, who was said to have charged a bear like that, and frightened it away. Pretty risky.

When I was a kid I remember that the advice was to lay down and play possum, and now it's to make a lot of noise, and throw rocks and make yourself appear as large as possible (holding your jacket open, over your head, etc.) - but I don't think that's something I'd try with a grizzly. With a grizzly, I think I'd just cr&p my pants.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
tdtz #16274 07/11/11 07:31 AM
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Part of that is the natural inclination for the same family of mammals to grow larger the further north you go. By the time you get to Canada, the blacks are just about as big as the browns - and sometimes more aggressive. A 500- to 700-pound black bear doesn't react to humans shouting and throwing rocks quite like a 200-pounder in the Sierra might.

Still, though, grizzlies make me nervous. I quit carrying Counter Assault in most bear territory that I hike in often (Georgia and California, mostly) - blacks are basically wussies in these two states. Anywhere in range of the Canadian border, though, and I'm locked and loaded with serious pepper spray.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16276 07/11/11 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
I'm locked and loaded with serious pepper spray.


Okay.....what was that? I know I heard something. Oh yeaaaaaaaa.......that was the sound of the Grizzly population in Canada laughing their a$$es off. :-)

You know I love ya Gary......and you know I'm scared to death of Bears. So, if we ever go hiking anywhere North of California.....I'll be carrying something a bit more serious :-)

Oh crap.....I heard something else.....ya, I heard it. Oh s#*t, it's the sound of Gary typing his response grin


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Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16290 07/11/11 11:00 AM
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Joe, you were scared on the E-Ledges too - and now look at you! Maybe what you need to get over this bearophobia is a week or so at the Portal right about now. That, or make a habit of hiking Yellowstone . . .

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16294 07/11/11 12:13 PM
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Gary, better re-order some more Counter Assault and quit dissing our Southern Appalachian fauna.

http://www.americanbear.org/size.htm

John

Re: Bear kills Hiker
catpappy #16296 07/11/11 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: catpappy
Gary, better re-order some more Counter Assault and quit dissing our Southern Appalachian fauna.

http://www.americanbear.org/size.htm

John


Ain't dissing 'em, John. I like 'em just the way they are - not nearly as big or aggressive as the ones in the upper half of N. America.

There's a name for this law/theory/hypothesis of same-class animals growing bigger the further away from the equator you get. Bears are the best example - relatively puny little things here in the South, then growing progressively bigger till you hit the ant/arctic polar bears - but it goes for deer, squirrels, and many others. Just can't recall it.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16297 07/11/11 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Originally Posted By: catpappy

best example - relatively puny little things here in the South




Uh, Gary, I don't think catpappy's gonna like this one either. I wouldn't go around mentioning it much :-)

How come I'm so mean today?


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Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16298 07/11/11 01:43 PM
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But none of them party like our Ga. bears.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/23/us/cocaine-and-a-dead-bear.html

John

Re: Bear kills Hiker
quillansculpture #16301 07/11/11 01:54 PM
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John and I have a running dialogue (battle) about the "beauty" of nature in East versus West. I'm of the opinion that just about any top-notch, gotta-see east of the Rockies pales in comparison to even the most mundane landscape in much of the West. It's just another installment in our debate.

In March, when John and I were in Death Valley, this went on daily. Finally, we're standing on the summit of Corkscrew Peak, looking down at the enormous expanse of DV with the Panamints looming over us. I turned to him and said, "Tell me there's anything remotely this scenic in the Appalachians." He admitted there wasn't.

. . . but soon started pointing out how the Southern Appalachians have their own unique beauty. Granted - I just like mine Super-Sized! It'll never be settled since it's a matter of beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder. Some like vanilla, some like chocolate.




Originally Posted By: catpappy
But none of them party like our Ga. bears.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/23/us/cocaine-and-a-dead-bear.html

John


LMAO! And I noticed that was a "puny" 175-pound black bear.

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16304 07/11/11 02:03 PM
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Of course he was only 175. He was hooked on the white stuff.

But a 880lb bear from NC. Now thats a bear.

John

Re: Bear kills Hiker
Bulldog34 #16305 07/11/11 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Some like vanilla, some like chocolate.

And some like it out West. wink

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
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