Nevada offers tips on bear behavior |

Nevada offers tips on bear behavior

Tribune staff report
Be bear aware. While black bears exhibit stress behaviors that indicate anxiety, those are not necessarily the signs of an aggressive bear.
Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Inc. |

Nevada Department of Wildlife is reminding how to act in black bear country to avoid potentially dangerous bear encounters.

Black bears exhibit stress behaviors that indicate their anxiety and preference to avoid conflicts, and are not necessarily the signs of an aggressive bear, the department said.

Such behaviors include:

• Moaning or woofing while avoiding direct eye contact.

• Clacking their teeth and smacking their jaws.

• Stomping on their front feet and false charges that stop just short of making contact.

In most cases, these behaviors are the bear’s way of telling a person that the person is too close. People that see a bear acting like this should back up and leave the area. Knowing how to behave in a bear encounter will help keep people safe, the wildlife department said.

Tips to avoid bear encounters include:

• Never approach or feed bears. Give them respect by keeping your distance.

• Give a bear plenty of room to pass and it usually will.

• Keep a close eye on children and teach them what to do if they see a bear. Tell them to stay together, back away from the bear and find an adult.

• When camping, keep a clean camp and never store food in your tent. Do not cook in the same clothes you sleep in and always cook away from your sleeping area.

Tips for handling bear encounters include:

• If a bear approaches you, speak in a loud firm voice, “get away bear!”

• Raise your arms to make yourself look bigger and back away to a safe area. You cannot outrun a bear.

• In the rare event of a bear attack, people have succeeded in driving the bear away by hitting it with stout sticks or rocks and punching it in the nose.

• Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

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