What’s Your Favorite Animal?

Black Bear Cub walking in grass

Do you have a favorite animal?

I do. Well, kind-of. I love all animals, but a few of them really stand out for me. BEARS are one of my favorites. Probably because I have seen them in the wild a zillion times. BEAR CUBS are the cutest–check out the photograph of the tiny black bear cub above. Usually when I see a BEAR, I am in the safety of my car or hiking along a ridge where I might spot one a great distance away. BEARS can be scary but if you know how to keep your distance (about the length of a football field) they are great fun to watch. Binoculars give you great close-up views. Bears lumber along, following their noses as they dig for their favorite foods of berries, dandelions and ants.



Check out the two GRIZZLY BEARS in the picture above. Do you think they are talking to each other?


I’ve had a couple of close encounters with BEARS. One time I was walking up a path from a lake, came around a curve in the trail and was face-to-face with a CINNAMON BLACK BEAR. He was just as startled as me. We both turned around and went back the way we came! Later, Curt and I walked back up the path together, found the BEAR again, and watched him from a distance as he dug under a log for bugs and plant roots.

Last year, when I was hiking in Yellowstone Park, with Curt, we came upon a GRIZZLY BEAR. There he was a few feet in front of us. He was eating behind a log, so had to stand up to figure out what we were. We have read many times what to do when you encounter a bear in the wild, so we calmly backed away. Once we were far enough away, we walked quickly out of the area. I was so happy to get to car.



The BEAR in the photograph above is a Grizzly Bear Mom with cub. Can you see the big hump on her back?

Below is a photograph of a BLACK BEAR CUB hanging out in a tree.


Black Bear Cub in tree


GUTSY STUFF:  Here are some general safety tips about what to do, if you encounter a bear in the wild.

  • Buddy up. Never hike or walk in an area where bears are present by yourself. Always walk with two or more people.

  • Never run. If the bear is close, back away slowly.

  • Chill out. Act as calm as you can. This will help calm the bear, too.

  • Bunch up. If you are in a group stand together. You’ll look really big to the bear.

  • Speak out. Talk to the bear in a normal voice, so he’ll know you are human.

  • Pepper it. If you have pepper spray, get it out just in case.





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