Here's some intelligence for when bears attack. First, know this: attacks are rare, but here's how to protect yourself anyway, courtesy of Newsweek magazine:
- Never surprise a bear. If you're out walking, go with a group if possible and make plenty of noise. And don't set your camp up near a trail or road. Bears use them just like people do.
- Then, avoid attracting bears. Don't cook near your tent, wash all your dishes before bed. And store your food in air-tight or bear-proof containers. Or carefully hang food from a tree limb at least 20 feet up, and 4 feet out from the trunk.
- Another tip: absolutely never get between a mother and her cubs. The minute she thinks they're in danger, she'll attack.
- So, what if a bear does come near you? Let it know you're human by talking in a calm voice and waving your arms. Try to back away diagonally. But if the bear follows, hold your ground. Raise your voice, or bang pots but never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal. They could think you want to fight, or might just be good eatin'.
- And when it doubt, spray. Aerosol red-pepper spray can help protect you from a charging bear. But you have to wait until they're within 40 feet, and spray it in their eyes and face.
- Finally, if you are attacked, lie flat on your stomach, or curl up in a ball, protecting your face and neck. Remain motionless as long as possible. In other words, wait until the bear decides you're harmless, and goes away.