What To Do When A Bear Attacks

In the past week there have been 4 bear mauling attacks across the state. It is not uncommon for a bear to be startled or aggressive, no matter who the victim is of a bear attack.

According to Wildlife Biologist, Dick Shideler, at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, people should use all their senses such as ears and eyes for signs of a bear in their path.

A lot of the time bears approach people out of curiosity because they haven't seen people often.
This is what biologists call 'non-defensive approaches'.

The other situation is a bear defending something such as a female protecting her cubs or a dead carcass.

If the bear makes contact and charges at you, that's when you play dead until the bear leaves or if you have bear spray handy by your side.
Sometimes a bear makes a slow, deliberate approach before charging- making it a predatory attack.
Shideler explains the best thing to do if a bear approaches.

"If you see a bear, the first thing you should do is just stop and make sure what the bear is doing and kind of gather your thoughts.
If you're carrying a detergent such as bear spray or a firearm, you might get that ready just in case. And then watch what the bear does.
If the bear is unaware of you, move away.
If the bear sees you and starts to approach and it's a very slow methodical approach or he's weaving around sniffing the air, it may just be curious.
And at that point, you should talk to it as it approaches more it may change your attitude, your attitude because now you want it to know that you're going to deal with it."