There is an unfortunate *true story* that haunts me. Since I am in good voice today, I felt the need to record it.
About six years ago, a news item was brought to my attention. I believe a group of people, made up of family members, were vacationing at a wooded resort in New York State. Those people were “city folk” and unfamiliar with wildlife first hand. A black bear wandered by their area and the sight of the beast sent them running for their motel rooms. All safe inside, except a five month old baby in a carriage. The bear sniffed out the unsupervised infant and the result was the infant’s death from the bear carrying it off as an object of interest.
I was shocked!
- I would not have left the baby!
- I would have confronted the bear!
The facts didn’t even make sense to me. In my world…
- There would have been no danger scary enough to afford NOT attempting to protect the child. ( The time to react was immediately…I suspect that being unfamiliar with wild animals was the ultimate deciding factor.)
- The act of a frantic adult charging a bear would have probably been enough to send it away. ( I read further after this post…the bear climbed a tree when bystanders tried to rescue the baby by throwing rocks at it. Nothing could be done by then.)
- As an adult, I would have stood a significant greater chance of surviving a bear attack.
- Doing nothing would NOT have been an option!
How did that happen is all I can ask? That worst case scenario would have not taken place in my presence!
*I looked up the incident and found it took place in the Catskills in August 2002. Some reports say that the parents were shuttling their other kids inside when the bear tipped the infant out of the carriage. Other reports tell that the child was abandoned due to the fear and the bear had the opportunity to get the infant. I have a feeling that the bear did not charge into the area and the adults may have saved the baby if their instinct was not to flee.
Many people hear about Grizzly Bears on TV and the “play dead” defense. Black bears should be handled differently. Be for warned and read the following excerpt.
Black Bear Encounters
Compared to brown bear attacks, violent encounters with black bears rarely lead to serious injury. However, the majority of black bear attacks tend to be motivated by hunger rather than territoriality, and thus victims have a higher probability of surviving by fighting back rather than submitting. Unlike grizzlies, female black bears do not display the same level of protectiveness to their cubs, and seldom attack humans in their vicinity. The worst recorded fatality incident occurred in May 1978, in which a black bear killed three teenagers who were fishing in Algonquin Park in Canada. The majority of attacks happened in national parks, usually near campgrounds, where the bears had become habituated to human contact and food. 1,028 incidences of black bears acting aggressively toward people, 107 of which resulted in injury, were recorded from 1964 to 1976 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and occurred mainly in tourist hotspots where people regularly fed the bears handouts.