BEAR PLANNED TO EAT WOMAN?

Bear attacks in the United States are rare

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BLACK BEAR

Not the bear involved in this story.

Bear attacks are rare. For example, the odds of being attacked by a bear in Yellowstone National Park are approximately 1 in 3 million. When an attack does occur, the bear is most often defensive about either his/her territory, their cubs, or a food source in the immediate area (not usually a human food source). Most often, the bear will provide warning signs, like slapping the ground, charging towards you, and then suddenly stop. In these cases, the bear is startled and curious and may stand on his hind legs to obtain a better scent or more information about you. In those even rarer cases where the bear is hunting you down as a food source, there will usually be no warning signs. Experts are divided on how to react when encountering a bear in the wild. It may also depend on what type of bear it is; brown bears tend to react differently than black ones. For some advice on how to react to bears in the wild, The bear smart society site provides some useful information.

A woman was severely wounded in the Amur region of Russia when a bear attacked her, apparently thought she was dead, and then tried to bury her as a potential future food source. Natalya Pasternak (55) was gathering wood when attacked. She was discovered by workers in the area submerged under a pile of brush with only her bloody hand protruding- she had severe injuries to her head and thighs. Her dog was initially attacked.  After emergency calls had been made, a wildlife life expert arrived at the scene only to have the bear leap out at him in a distinct state of rage; he had no choice but to shoot and kill the bear. For some extremely graphic pictures of this attack, see the coverage of the story in The Siberian Times.

Such attacks are rare in Russia.  In this case, wildlife experts suspect that nearby fishermen are capturing too many salmon by using nets and this is causing a food shortage for the bears, causing them to search for food elsewhere.

Although bear attacks on humans are rare everywhere, Yellow Stone Park officials often remind people that the critters in the park are wild and visitors should exercise caution. Recently, a 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was gored by a Bison as she stood just 3-6 feet away from the animal as others were taking her picture. Park officials maintain that visitors should keep a distance of at least 100 feet from bears, and a minimum of 25 yards away from other large animals. Bison and bear can run about three times faster than humans, and like most animals, can be unpredictable.

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