After some of our guests sighted some Black Bears while sitting and relaxing on the amazing wrap-around decks of our beautiful Asheville Country Cabins, I did some research as to the behavior of these Black Bears. By the way, the guests’ sightings proved to be such exciting highlights of their trips, and they have the videos to prove it!!!
Did you know that Black Bears are rather timid animals? Yes, they might exhibit what you call “blustering behavior”. This “blustering” might appear like aggressive behavior to the onlooker, but it actually is a ritual they perform when they are nervous. You make be thinking……what is this “blustering”? It is simply a way that the black bear shows that they want to “talk” about the problem that is making them feel nervous. It is when they pounce forward, slam their front feet down and blow. Experts say that this blustering ritual is a good thing. It’s just the black bear’s way of communicating.
These experts believe that the woods is actually one of the safest places for humans. If you treat a black bear disrespectfully, however, they might go ahead and slap you. What was surprising to learn is that Black Bear mothers, compared to the Grizzly mothers, are even reluctant to defend their cubs against people.
So why is it that the present-day Black Bear is such a timid animal?
Well, at one time the Black Bear lived alongside very powerful predators such as the saber-toothed cats, wolves, short-faced bears, and American lions. These predators became extinct about 12,000 years ago. Out of all these animals, the Black Bears were the only ones that could climb trees. So they survived by living near trees. When one of those, now extinct, predators posed a threat, the Black Bear ran to the nearest tree, and climbed up as fast as they could.
Even until today, when a Black Bear senses danger, they run away, often to a nearby tree. Again, the Grizzly Bear, in contrast, may charge and possibly attack the source that presents a threat. This makes Grizzlies 20 times more dangerous than the Black Bear.
So, don’t you agree that it would be cool to observe some Black Bears? Well, what should you keep in mind if that happens? If you go unnoticed by the bear, it would be a terrific opportunity to just watch their behavior. Once they know they are being watched, they will most likely run away. If they do not run away, you can just wave and call out loudly. This would be threatening to them, and they would most likely just go on their way.
So, let’s get back to the original question……Are Black Bears dangerous? It certainly seems that they are not as dangerous as most people think. I, personally, feel a whole lot more comfortable about having some Black Bears visit my backyard. I will, however, show them plenty of RESPECT!
North Carolina Wildlife Resources https://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mammals/Black-Bear
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