As someone who was born and raised among animals, I have observed time and again that people who are quite unfamiliar with animal behaviour are simply not equipped to read the “mood” of an animal.
Just like humans, bears will display body postures and behaviors that can tell you a lot about the mood of the animal.
The number 1 thing in any bear encounter is to stay calm. I say this because for people who have no experience of “reading” the behaviour of the animal, to often the first emotion the person will embrace is fear. The animal will sense this, and the situation will quickly escalate.
It is an ongoing dilemma, and it’s tragic that so many of these awe inspiring animals are euthanized every year.
As in policing, maybe de escalation should be the mantra of the day.
Hamish Wheatley, Maple Ridge
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