First Line of the Week – Black Bear

My beauty is beyond compare.  Thick black fur covering me from nose to paws, protecting me from the cold winters.  I have brown eyes that could use glasses for distance, but excellent closeup vision.  My large ears are also covered with fur, but I can hear a footfall a mile away.  My hearing is one of my best assets for my safety. 

 I left my mother at the age of 18 months, but have survived easily.  The forest is full of berries, nuts, and other vegetation that is quite sufficient.  For a special treat, I enjoy catching salmon in the freezing water.  The cold doesn’t bother me with my luxurious fur coat.  I am quite adept at catching fish because of my long sharp claws.  The salmon are easy, because they offer themselves up at a certain time of year.  Sadly for them, spawning season is, I imagine, both delightful and dangerous.  We bears are grateful for their sacrifice. 

I’m also a good swimmer, buoyancy of the waters making me very agile and quick.  On land I can run fast as long as I’m not carrying the extra weight of hibernation.  I’ve even heard some of my family accomplish a speed of thirty miles per hour.  However, that top speed will not be maintained for a complete hour.  My sense of smell is outstanding.  In fact I will probably smell you before I see you.

If you come upon me and my friends, I will know it.  As long as you back up slowly, I have no reason to think you are a threat.  However, if you turn and run, chances are I will be faster than you and I might be hungry.  So be warned, and smart.  If you see fresh bear scat where you’re trekking, remove yourself from the area immediately; walk don’t run.  It’s  likely I’m already watching you to judge your presence as friendly, or threatening.  If my cubs are near, don’t stop to take pictures or ooh and ahh.  I am a very protective parent, just like you.


5 thoughts on “First Line of the Week – Black Bear

  1. I used to live at the edge of crown land in British Columbia, Canada. I saw bears, mostly Brown, all the time. Brown bears can be black but they are still Brown Bears. The other ones to be found there are Grizzly and Kemode. Kermode found in a particular area of the Province. Polar bears are found further north. Brown Bears are the most common throughout North America. My fruit trees used to be ravaged by them each fall. The trick was to get there before their visit. Kinda’ hard to do. They seemed to have an acute sense of when I was going to pick. Overall we did not resent their intrusions. They have to live too. I would say their sense of smell is their biggest asset.

    Don’t run is good advice. Yet, if you are going to run? Run downhill, not up. For their shorter arms, in the front gives them good uphill running and up trees they scamper. Downhill they tend fall and roll.

    We had dogs. we kept their food in plastic garbage bin. One day, I foolishly left it outside, after filling. That night I heard a scrabbling from outside. Thinking it was the neighbours dog? Ours were always in at night. I wondered outside, to see a Brown bear about ten feet away. Our dogs were going nuts from inside. He or she? Paused, long enough to see if I posed a threat, then ran in the moonlight. … Lovely! Cheers Jamie

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