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Beware of predatory male black bears
Date:5/10/2011

t by a single bear," Herrero said. "With training, people can learn to recognize the behaviour of a bear that is considering them as prey and deter an attack by taking aggressive action such as fighting back."

The paper confirms other current perceptions and bear management practices. It found that bears that have previously killed people are more likely to attack again; parties of more than two people are much less likely to be attacked; and human food and garbage tends to attract bears and may increase the likelihood of serious bear attacks.

Examining 110 years of data also allowed the researchers to identify historical and geographic trends of black bear attacks. They found that 86% of fatal attacks occurred since 1960; that fatalities are more common in Canada and Alaska despite lower human populations and less contact between humans and bears than in the lower 48 states; and that human population growth is accompanied by rising fatal bear attacks.

"We didn't demonstrate why population growth is correlated with more bear attacks but we suspect it is because there are more people pursuing recreational and commercial activities in black bear habitat," Herrero said. "Similarly, we don't know exactly why there have been more attacks in Canada and Alaska, but we speculate that it could be because bears in those areas are living in less productive habitat with periodic food stress, which may predispose some bears to consider people as prey."


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Contact: Grady Semmens
gsemmens@ucalgary.ca
403-220-7722
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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