Avoiding Bear Attacks

What is the best way to avoid being attacked by a bear? Well, consider the statistics. Nearly every bear attack on record includes one very specific element: the outdoors. Though I suppose a bear may occasionally sneak up on someone in a post office or an elevator, the odds are in your favor that you can avoid bears, and therefore bear attacks, by simply staying inside. People who consider themselves "outdoorsy" are considered by bears to be "afternoon snacky." But just in case a situation ever arises that requires you to go outside, here are a few tips to help you avoid being attacked by a bear while you're out there.

If you meet a bear, your first option is to run for your life, or more precisely, to run to your death. I have heard that your best chance to outrun a bear is to run downhill, the theory being that a bear running down a hill might stumble because its hind legs are longer than its front legs. But leg length notwithstanding, an adult grizzly bear can run roughly 35 miles-an-hour. That is considerably faster than my top speed... a disappointing 35 miles-a-year-and-a-half. Even an incredibly fast person on a steep downward slope stands very little chance at outrunning a bear, leaving "running" an undesirable option if you hope to avoid a bear attack.

On the complete opposite end of the "surviving bears" spectrum from "running" is an option you've certainly heard before... Play dead. It is true that a bear probably won't kill you if you play dead. It is also true that it will bite you and claw you and throw you against trees and stuff until you not only seem but also wish you were dead. If you don't consider that an attack, then maybe playing dead is for you. But for those of us who were hoping to avoid organ damage and excessive bleeding altogether, playing dead is probably out.

No running and no playing dead? What else is there? It seems your best bet for avoiding a bear attack is to climb a tree... as long as you climb at least 30 feet. If you're lower than that, the bear will still probably get you. But since bears don't particularly like climbing trees, there's a better chance that, the higher you climb, the less interested the bear will be in pursuing you. After you've climbed high enough, just wait there until the bear loses interest and leaves the area. This shouldn't take more than two or three days. You may then fall to your death.

If all else fails, there is one way to avoid being killed by a bear that works every time. That's right... in the history of man and bear kind, it has never failed. The best way to avoid being killed by a bear is to die some other way.

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