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#24934 - 06/11/12 12:27 PM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Bear face-palm...




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#24937 - 06/11/12 12:45 PM Re: Bears [Re: MooseTracks]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Really, really scary................

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#24942 - 06/11/12 01:24 PM Re: Bears [Re: quillansculpture]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
How cute, little bear cubs playing. I'll follow my instinct and stay away, thanks. You don't have to be afraid of bears to use common sense. If someone wants to do a science experiment and get between these cute little cubs and Momma, let us know how it goes.

This one happened last July 2011. The lady didn't die, so the statistics don't need to be updated.

Haas had initially tried to sprint away from the angry mother bear after accidentally coming between the animal and her two cubs while jogging the trail. But she soon realized that was the wrong tactic. "I looked behind me, and she was right behind me,'' Haas said. "I realized running from wild animals is the worst thing you can do.''

The bear chased her down from behind, slashing her chest and left arm with its claws when Haas turned around. No one on the trail heard her screams, so it was up to Haas to extricate herself from the situation.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43969162/n...e/#.T9ZSSMWwXpw

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#24951 - 06/11/12 03:57 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1566
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Ken

but the assertion by the scientist, that there has never been a documented attack of a mother black bear in defense of cubs is something you don't accept.....is not a rejection?


That was not the gentleman's assertion. The assertion was that there has never been a documented death, and that attacks are rare, meaning that attacks occur. Just none severe enough to cause death.

Which is a far less radical and completely plausible statement.
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#24955 - 06/11/12 04:37 PM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Okay.... SierraNevada, if you thought THAT was cute....

I guess the bear thing is just a bit silly (to me). I've had 'em walk within feet of me, but most just run away. Mostly just a nuisance, and it's usually irresponsible hikers and fishermen that are the problem at the Portal (leaving dead fish and guts in open containers or just on the shores, not closing the bear boxes, leaving food in the vehicles and leaving packs out in the open.)

Black Bear attacks and deaths??? Again, kind of a reach. If you want to do a study, compare the amount of people killed on the 395 in auto accidents to Black Bear attacks in the entire North American region. Much more dangerous of a proposition just to get to Lone Pine than bears actually standing ground and attacking. Just my opinion, but I've seen what an accident can do on the 395...... just haven't seen anyone hurt by a bear.



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#24956 - 06/11/12 04:39 PM Re: Bears [Re: saltydog]
amg Offline


Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 18
Loc: los angeles
Originally Posted By: saltydog
The fact that it happens at all, however, would seem to argue against allowing a 4-year old to get anywhere near a cub.


Not sure who would let a 4-year old near pepper spray, let alone a bear cub.

Thinking about it, it's probably a good thing that bear spray is illegal in Yosemite, at least in the valley. I have visions of panicked campers accidentally pepper-spraying neighboring campsites on a regular basis.

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#24963 - 06/11/12 06:54 PM Re: Bears [Re: quillansculpture]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
I guess the bear thing is just a bit silly (to me). I've had 'em walk within feet of me, but most just run away. Mostly just a nuisance...

My personal experience is similar to your personal experience, Black bears have been mostly a nuisance to me. But is it really good advice to insist that people should feel comfortable getting between Momma bears and her cubs? I'm just not buying that advice.

Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
Black Bear attacks and deaths??? Again, kind of a reach. If you want to do a study, compare the amount of people killed on the 395 in auto accidents to Black Bear attacks in the entire North American region. Much more dangerous of a proposition just to get to Lone Pine than bears actually standing ground and attacking. Just my opinion, but I've seen what an accident can do on the 395...... just haven't seen anyone hurt by a bear.

So let's give out bad advice about driving, shall we? Hey everybody, there's an expert in England who says it's okay to drive on the left side of the road because most accidents happen when people drive on the right side of the road. I've never personally seen anyone killed by driving on the left side of the road.

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#24966 - 06/11/12 07:32 PM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Here's a test. This is my family on the trail near Rancheria Falls (Sierra 11 yrs old, Nevada 9 yrs old). Notice the cub near the trail. I didn't, I walked right past it while I was fiddling with my camera and my kids pointed it out.

What's a parent to do?
1. Have a seat and read Goldilocks to the cute little cub, maybe sing a few rounds of Cumbaya. If Momma Bear comes by, just smile and reassure her in bear speak that we are friendly humans meaning no harm to her offspring.

2. Look around to see which way is the best way to get out of the situation without coming between Momma bear and the cubs. Be willing to go back down the trail if necessary.


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#24969 - 06/11/12 08:10 PM Re: Bears [Re: Bob West]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Bob West

The researcher you reference is only one of many bear researchers; his data might or might not correspond with the data gathered by researchers in other parts of North America. As I recall from my science classes, it is important not to argue from the particular to the general, but from the general to the particular. In other words, good research must cover all possible data, from multiple sources, before making any kind of generalization across the board on any topic.



Bob, I'd take some issue with your approach to evaluating research.

Mainly, I'd say that if one disputes research, one disputes it with research that contradicts it, not with a statement that the research does not encompass all research done by everybody, everywhere, at all times, on every related subject, and there MIGHT be something that contradicts the disputed research.

For example, in Steve's example, he give the example of a bear that has taken a camper's food, who happens to be a cub.

How many times have we all read, that once a bear has captured food, it is THEIRS, and an attempt to get it back is foolhardy. Perhaps that was the operative issue, not the cub issue.

Hey, but it's great to stick to the party line. filter that water! smile

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#24972 - 06/11/12 08:14 PM Re: Bears [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Originally Posted By: Ken

but the assertion by the scientist, that there has never been a documented attack of a mother black bear in defense of cubs is something you don't accept.....is not a rejection?


That was not the gentleman's assertion. The assertion was that there has never been a documented death, and that attacks are rare, meaning that attacks occur. Just none severe enough to cause death.

Which is a far less radical and completely plausible statement.


You are right, although he said VERY rare.

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#24973 - 06/11/12 08:23 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
In the case of the skier, the frustrating thing is the exaggerated reporting. She "survived" her attack. A print version describes her as "virtually unharmed", the pictures show her with band-aids.

The concern I have is that the sighting of a cub becomes the reason for an armed person to shoot a mother bear. "just in case", like the Alaskan case with the Grizzly last year.

It is the exaggerated fear of all that is in wilderness that drives many to feel that these places need to be tamed.

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#24974 - 06/11/12 09:48 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
It is the exaggerated fear of all that is in wilderness that drives many to feel that these places need to be tamed.

Ken,

I think you found some common ground with this statement. Bears are just one of the dangers that people have to cope with in the wilderness. It's on par with getting hit by lightening, very rare, but when the tree nearby gets struck and falls over, you need good advice. Science and statistics are very helpful in evaluating the true risk of things, and should be foundational for decision making. When risks are overplayed (read "hyped by the media looking for ratings") or underplayed (by well meaning "experts"), people with common sense experience need to weigh in. Please don't throw people out with the bathwater because we don't happen to agree with the particular expert your quote.

Here's a quote from an equally eminent "expert" on Momma bears and cubs:

"Mother bears, whenever they feel threatened or a person is too close, they act very aggressively," said Stephen Herrero, the study's lead author. "They make noise, they swat the ground with their paws and they run at people. They want to make you think that they'll eat you alive, but they almost always stop."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/science/11bears.html


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#24975 - 06/11/12 10:03 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7785
Loc: Fresno, CA
It is the exaggerated fear of all that is in wilderness that drives many to feel that these places need to be tamed.

...and perhaps drives authorities to slap lower and lower limits on quotas on popular trails. wink

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#24979 - 06/12/12 12:00 AM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada

My personal experience is similar to your personal experience, Black bears have been mostly a nuisance to me. But is it really good advice to insist that people should feel comfortable getting between Momma bears and her cubs? I'm just not buying that advice.


Hmmmm, not sure what you're reading. I never have said you should get between a mom and her cubs. In fact, that would be plain stupid. Probably not good advice to buy, wherever you read it. I just thought those cute little cubs were adorable :-)

As far as driving on the 395....... I've been on it, either as a kid with my parents or as a driver for 48 of my 55 years. I can tell you one thing..... way too many people have been killed on it, including hikers. I'm old enough to remember an entire family of 7 killed in their station wagon at the bottom of Sherwin grade decades ago. It's a better highway than it used to be, but mostly past the 14 interchange. I guess I'll consider the danger of bears after one wipes out an entire family of 7. Til then, I'll avoid them and hope they avoid me.

Okay.... since it's late and I got started. If a hiker is afraid of bears, maybe they should put on their pack, go to the gym and get on a treadmill. Truth is, people are the ones who screw up the wilderness, kill the animals out of fear and then blame the animal. I've seen bears and even a mountain lion on hiking trails. They just don't want to kill you, they don't want to eat you, they don't want you period. So, next time you see a bear, wave a friendly "Thank You" to him for allowing you to walk, hike, climb, fish, cook, camp and occasionally crap in his woods. In all honesty, you're the trespasser. And as I've already told my friends, if a Mountain Lion or Bear eats me, leave 'em be...... I was in his home.

Oh crap, I know one of those lines in my last paragraph is gonna get some kind of response from Burchey.... !

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#24982 - 06/12/12 07:37 AM Re: Bears [Re: quillansculpture]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
Hmmmm, not sure what you're reading. I never have said you should get between a mom and her cubs. In fact, that would be plain stupid. Probably not good advice to buy, wherever you read it. I just thought those cute little cubs were adorable :-)

I guess you missed the post that triggered the discussion over the Momma bear - cub issue. It all started with a quote by an expert that portrays the Momma bear - cub threat as a hoax or myth. The Momma bear situation is a lot less common statistically than human-bear encounters over food, but it still can be dangerous and should not be downplayed because bear cubs are so cute.

And you are absolutely right about the relative risk of driving, its orders of magnitude larger than all other risks combined, except smoking. The annualized loss of life from traffic accidents is about 1/1000, which is used in risk management as a baseline for "acceptable" risk because people are willing to keep driving. Odds of dying in the wilderness from any cause is much much much lower, but things do happen and people need to be prepared.

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#24985 - 06/12/12 08:53 AM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7785
Loc: Fresno, CA
Not to divert this thread, but if you include the number of hours people are in a car, and use the number of hours people are hiking, and then compare the death rates, I don't think the automobile death rate is orders of magnitude greater. I am sure it is higher than death by hiking, but deaths per hour of hiking, when you bring in the incidence of death by heart attacks, HAPE/HACE, hypothermia, etc, it does get up there.

Death by bear is at or near zero, but not death by hiking.

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#24986 - 06/12/12 08:59 AM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Quote:
It is the exaggerated fear of all that is in wilderness that drives many to feel that these places need to be tamed.

I couldn't agree more.

CaT
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#24987 - 06/12/12 09:15 AM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Gotta admit, I didn't see that post.
I think what hikers on the Mt Whitney Trail really need to be careful of is...... The Grouse!

Yep, an oldie, but goodie :-)

When Psycho Grouse Attack
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#25003 - 06/12/12 05:08 PM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
Yury Offline


Registered: 06/11/11
Posts: 57
Loc: T.O.
Originally Posted By: Steve C
... if you include the number of hours people are in a car, and use the number of hours people are hiking, and then compare the death rates, I don't think the automobile death rate is orders of magnitude greater. I am sure it is higher than death by hiking, but deaths per hour of hiking, when you bring in the incidence of death by heart attacks, HAPE/HACE, hypothermia, etc, it does get up there.
thanks
I assume that climbing and mountaineering are more dangerous than driving.
I do not have numbers to prove this but this claim is consistent with my own experience.

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#25010 - 06/12/12 07:15 PM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Not to divert this thread, but if you include the number of hours people are in a car, and use the number of hours people are hiking, and then compare the death rates, I don't think the automobile death rate is orders of magnitude greater. I am sure it is higher than death by hiking, but deaths per hour of hiking, when you bring in the incidence of death by heart attacks, HAPE/HACE, hypothermia, etc, it does get up there.

Death by bear is at or near zero, but not death by hiking.

Any discussion of risk has to have a framework. I deal with low probability events (dam failure) with extreme consequence and we use annualized loss of life framework, a similar risk management approach as insurance providers, nuclear plants, and airplane safety. In each of these instances, the population at risk is doing little to contribute to their risk except living near a hazard or boarding a plane. It's a passive risk that society is generally willing to accept for the rewards that we receive. Some will move far away from a nuclear plant or dam and some will never get on a plane, but those are exceptions. As long as the risk is low enough, and the rewards are high enough, society reluctantly accepts it.

In the case of hiking or mountain climbing or sky diving or smoking cigarettes, the person is accepting unusual risk and hopefully managing it wisely. Everyone has their own risk tolerance for these activities. For some people the whole point of the activity is to push risk to the limit. Other people won't go near a roller coaster.

The other complication that you point out is the time factor. A sky dive is over in a few minutes, hiking or mountain climbing might be a few days at a time. These are hard to break down into an annualized loss of life. Driving is something most everyone does almost every day so that works well for a baseline. Furthermore, there are shades of risk within these activities - it's more risky to climb half dome in a thunderstorm than to hike a Sequoia grove in sunny weather.

If this isn't enough complication, how do you measure the risk? Should you compare it to the entire population or just to the people who choose to do that activity? This is where getting hit by lightening seems impossible to the average person, but quite likely if you work in a fire lookout on a mountain top. The risk is then portrayed as "1 in a million chance" of getting hit by lightening.

One last point about risk is the perception factor. Society is less accepting of risk to a large group of people all at once. There are about 30,000 auto deaths each year, almost 100 each day in the US. It barely makes the news. But if a plane with 100 people crashes it's obviously a very big deal. If one crashed every day people would not fly. But we accept the same consequence as long as it's a few here and a few there. The other perception factor is the media. There have been what, about 70 deaths from bear attacks in the last 100 years, but people are irrationally fearful because the media sensationalizes it. People visualize the gruesome nature of it and they lose sight of the true risk.

Human nature, go figure.

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