[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pct-l] Metal bear cans

>From: Randy_Forsland@alliedtelesyn.com (Randy Forsland)
>Subject: [pct-l] Metal bear cans
>decided to conduct some experiments in "negative reinforcement". I filled the
>bags with pine cones and rocks and counter balanced them in a tree about 30-40
>yards from my camp to act as decoys for the bears.
>Sure enough, on the second night a bear with her cub took the bait....<deleted>
>that the poor cub had a noticible limp as it ambled off after it's mother....I
>wonder if it will be so quick to "take the fall" the next time...
>I retrieved the two bags, they were destroyed but the entertainment value was
>worth it.....Maybe that cub will stick to grubs and berries when it grows up....


Reinforced behavior, whether it be either positive or negative,
consists of a series of the same or similar patterns of stimuli. Since
this only happened once the bears do not associated the experience as
a negative which would have any intellectual bearing on their future
behavior; rather it's just a failed attempt at getting food in a
tree. The consequence of such a random experiement is now some "poor
cub" has a noticible limp. Of course one could argue that cubs must
fail a good percentage of the time and in their attempted effort do
injure themselves.  An interesting study from the consequence of your
"experiment" would be to see whether such a limp has any effect on the
young bear's necessity to reach it's caloric intake before
hibernation. I've seen older bears take a suicide leap for the bags
and limp away in Lyell Canyon, but typically this happens in October
just before hibernation.

It would have been better to just continue the practice of throwing
rocks (and avoiding hitting their heads and blinding them). This form
of negative reinforcement may not deter bears from your camp for long,
but at least it's a consistent pattern of reinforced events practiced
by many.


        Dave Encisco

* From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List |  http://www.backcountry.net   *