December 11, 2023

Have We Swapped Yelling and Looking Big to Scare Off Bears With Banging Metal?

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If humans become confused as to what kind of behavior bears exhibit and what we are supposed to do to protect ourselves from bears, even though they don’t attack people (wink, wink), I wonder if bears are just as confused or maybe even more so?

In the Kennebec Journal, an article tells of a “marauding” bear visiting an area near Richmond Road in Litchfield. Fish and game officials warn residents to lock up their trash and:

He encouraged anyone who sees a bear to keep their distance, but said the Litchfield bear does not pose an immediate risk to public safety.

Bears typically fear human contact and scare easily, MacDonald said. He said the sound of banging metal is particularly disturbing to bears and typically will cause them to run away.

I have two questions concerning this statement. The official said that the bear did not “pose an immediate risk to public safety.” If that is so, then why a warning to people that there is a risk of a bear getting into their garbage and telling them to “keep their distance?”

Secondly, we have repeatedly been told that if we encounter a bear, yell real loud and “look big” (I always snicker at that one). Now it is recommended to carry around a couple of garbage can covers, metal of course, or a set of pots and pans? I’m reminded of the Saladmaster commercials on TV, with Chris Nahatis, from years ago.