Much of this may sound like common sense, but sometimes it needs to be repeated. The National Park Service has issued useful reminders now that it is bear season, and one reminder in particular has some people laughing. But if you’ve ever thought about doing what they tell you not to do, then maybe you should be leaning into yourself.
The Park Service has once again told the public not to push slower friends to use them as bear bait when escaping a chasing bear. The seasonal advice came in a Park Service Facebook post, which offers a bit of dark humor as well as some otherwise helpful advice. What kind of friend would do that anyway? Well, we all know this person that we just might be able to do without. In our lifes. Does that sound tempting?
If a bear chatts its teeth, sticks out its lips, breathes, hoots, or hits the ground with its paws, it is warning you that you are too close and making it nervous.
They go on to say that if you come across a bear, slowly walk away and do a sideways movement. They also say not to run by any means, because bears hunt runaway animals. Trying to climb a tree isn’t a good idea either. It is advisable to make loud noises to identify yourself as human prey and not as ordinary bear prey. However, don’t let yourself fall to the ground and play dead. Bears can tell if you’re overacting. Slowly move away from yourself and the bear.
Black bears are the most prominent bear in New York State, with around 30-35% of them living in the Catskills. Of course, you can sometimes spot them right in the middle of town, or rummaging through your trash, or even going for a swim in your backyard pool. Close your trash, bring your bird feeders, and basically don’t offer any food sources for bears.
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