Bear safety guidelines

SPOKANE, Wash.—Summer is the season for the outdoor activities and that means being prepared for anything the wild throws at you, including bears.

KREM 2 looked into safety tips and what to do if you encounter a bear.

According to the National Parks Service, your safety depends on your ability to calm the bear and identify yourself as a person and not prey.

Bear Encounters

-Identify yourself

-Stay calm

-Hike and travel in groups

-Pick up small children

- Make yourself look as large as possible

-Do not let the bear get to your food

-Keep your pack on

-Use extreme caution if you see a female with cubs

Bear Attacks

-Brown/Grizzly Bears: If you are attacked by a brown/grizzly bear, leave your pack on and PLAY DEAD. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area. Fighting back usually increases the intensity of such attacks. However, if the attack persists, fight back vigorously. Use whatever you have at hand to hit the bear in the face.

Black Bears: If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to fight back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.

Bear Spray

Bear pepper spray can be an important thing to carry when exploring the back country. It is used defensively to stop an aggressive, charging, or attacking bear. Although it’s used in the same manner you would use mace on an attacking person, bear pepper spray and human pepper spray are not the same. Make sure you select an EPA approved product that is specifically designed to stop aggressive bears. It is not a repellent so do not apply to your body or equipment. Check with your national park to see if bear pepper spray is recommended or allowed for the activities you have planned.

The National Parks Service advises people visiting parks and wilderness areas to do research before heading out. Most places will provide information on bears in the area.

For complete information and more details visit The National Parks Service’s website.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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