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Grizzly Attack in Yellowstone

I’ve been to Yellowstone and to grizzly country in other areas many times, and I will admit there have been occasions when I’ve felt like I’m being watched. Grizzly attacks fortunately don’t happen very often and this London Ontario woman is lucky to have survived the attack. The bear stopped attacking when she went limp and played dead. Wow.

4 Comments

  1. sp

    That is an unusual story. The woman is very lucky. It’s a random thing that happened and will continue to happen because we share the same space.

    Living in beautiful BC bear country, what I’ve learned is that the discussion is not really about who is encroaching on whose space, but rather we inhabit the same spaces so what can we do in our daily lives to keep human bear encounters to a minimum. It’s really about education. The community is pretty organized with Bear Aware education sessions, and have introduced bear proof garbage bins, which is common for parks and roadsides, but now we have them for all residents as well. These small measures seem to make a big difference.

  2. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Even more interesting than the article is the collection of comments posted by people. Most seem to blame bear attacks on people invading the territory of bears and feel that this sort of thing wouldnt happen if we just stayed away from where bears live. These people are completely out of touch with reality. I live about 35-40 miles north of Toronto and I can say that I live in bear country. It wasnt always like this. Since the spring bear hunt was canceled in 1999 the Ontario black bear population is believed to have doubled and much of this surplus population is working its way south into the fairly densely populated area of southern Ontario. I know of 6 confirmed sightings of bears within about 30 miles of home with about half happening within 10 miles. I guess these malnourished animal hugging do gooders would have everyone who lives north of highway 9 (where bears now live) move out of bear country and into high rise apartments in The Big Smoke. heh I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon. A more sensible approach would be to release this grizzly on Dundas St. so that the animal huggers can get together and look after the thing.

    Then there is the argument that the bears wouldn’t attack if humans didn’t build subdivisions in bear country. That argument in a very narrow context might have some merit. The issue though is that the population of people continues to skyrocket and we are running out of places to stick all these people within the boundaries of big cities. Even places like Maple now look like sim city with subdivisions being built faster that we can get maps updated and as long as our population continues to grow in leaps and bounds then people will continue to move closer to where animals live. The folks who dont like that are really saying they want everyone to live in ever taller high rises or they are saying that they want some sort of serious population control put in place. The problem is that these people havent thought through their “stay out of bear country” position far enough to realize exactly what the alternatives would be.

    The attack in the article took place out west. Attacks in the future will more and more often happen in Southern Ontario now that we have let the black bears return. It took 100 years to drive the bears out of Southern Ontario and we have managed to let them back by eliminating the spring bear hunt. I will be long dead when they are finally again driven north into less populated areas.

    • This attack occurred at a campground in the north-east part of Yellowstone Park. Even in this remote area of the world, there are plenty of tourists and fly fishermen. Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek and the Lamar River are all up there and offer a fantastic fly fishing experience.

      I don’t know if the tourists and the fly fishermen are effecting the behaviour of these bears, but the problem here isn’t subdivisions. There was a time when bears were more commonly seen around campsites in Yellowstone, but in recent years, campers have been expected to be very careful about food, toothpaste and anything else that smells yummy to a bear.

      Who knows, maybe it was just a crazy bear. Maybe it was pissed off because of something a camper did. I don’t know. I do know that there are places where human development has displaced grizzlies or is in the process of doing so. One of those places is along highway 3 in SE BC. Development is making it difficult for the bears to migrate in the usual way. I’m aware of a project in recent years by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to buy up some of this land to leave it vacant so the bears can pass through without so much possibility of human contace.

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