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[at-l] Re: ATML Grizzlies on Cell Phones.

In a message dated 6/25/01 11:06:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
stephensadams@hotmail.com writes:

<<  To believe all bears will always react the same to variables we don't 
 perceive or understand underrates the complexity of the animal or requires 
 the ability to read the minds of animals.
 "That is what 99% of bear ‘attacks' are -- and most of those are only bluff 
 charges where there is no contact at all." >>

     Having been confronted by a grizzly in the Denali wilderness myself I 
would guess those hikers were lucky. 
      The rangers said my grizzly was young and curious to see what I was. He 
said they have bad eyesight and will chase large moving creatures. Your 
couple could have been down wind of the griz and she may have reacted in a 
prey situation thinking the big moving objects were edible. Or she was just 
seeing red. Otherwise the mother will charge to disarm any threat to her 
cubs, bear or other. 
     My guess is that certain things are taboo in the animal world and 
avoided by wild animals. A grizzly mother probably has no idea that we don't 
smell her warning scent or acknowledge her needed space. Two large creatures 
violating this space are probably considered to be doing it intentionally and 
the fight is on from that point on.
   A jogger was mauled to death in Alaska because the griz had killed a moose 
near the path and was guarding the carcass. An animal would probably have 
know by scent not to have gotten too close. The bear probably assumes we do 
and are taking it on in a challenge. They fight us as if we are bears too. 
The fact that we don't flee at animal speed is probably taken as aggression 
as well.
     The bear is not going to stop to figure it out anyway, since male bears 
kill unprotected cubs. My guess is that those two would have received a good 
mauling in order to head off any threat. Even more so if the mother had to 
work to get up to them and succeeded getting above the ledge. Bears prefer 
mauling the face in order to disarm the adversaries killing weapons of large 
teeth and fangs. Drop and put your face to the ground and hands behind neck 
only when the charge is no longer a bluff. The timing is tricky though, 
because if you drop too early you could keep him coming by submission. Mine 
decided to run.

     Also: black bears need to consume 20,000 calories a DAY! That is equal 
to 40 hamburgers washed down with 40 ice cream sodas.