In My Heart

Rule of Conduct if You Should Meet Brown Bears

Encountering Brown Bears - Rules to Follow

Here are some rules that will help you if you should meet brown bears:

1. Don't follow the bear. This applies even if the ground is covered by snow.
The bear may feel threatened. It may have cubs in the neighbourhood that you don't know about.

2. Leave alone lairs, sleeping places and cadavers.
Do not seek out such places for observation or photography.

3. Do not place cadavers, slaughetering wastes or other foods for the purpose of tempting bears to close encounters.
This will contribute to taming bears. Some bears have specialized in digging food from garbage dumps. Keep camps free from garbage and food disposals.

bears02 4. Make enough noise to ensure that bears hear you.
This applies especially to places where bears stay for longer times or where there are cadavers etc.
In some instances it may be dangerous to come near a bear surprisingly and without a warning.

The has well developed senses and will normally hear and smell man at a long distance.
But if the bear feels safe, it may be sleeping heavily, especially near cadavers.

(Photo: Steve Hillebrand/Creative Commons)

5. Withdraw in a calm way out of the area if you meet a bear that does not run away.
The bear may show signs of aggression if you come near a cadaver or some other food resource. The bear will blow through the nose, snort or grunt.

The bear wants you to get away. But do not run. Running may provoke an attack. When you are some distance away from the cadaver or whatever it wants to protect, it will turn and go back.

6. Show your presence if the bear should follow your dog.
Sometimes a bear may chase a dog that runs in the direction of its owner.
Show your presence by making sounds and moving forward so that the bear detects man. Usually this makes the bear run away.

(These rules are based on a brochure published by the county governor of Finnmark and the Svanhovd environmental center).

See also what they say in Alaska about safety when encountering brown bears. Go back to the article about safety.

Where the Reindeer Roam

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