So, as you now know, I live in the middle of nowhere. Trees, plants, creeks, and more trees surround me. While I’m not a big fan of these things, guess who is? Our new neighbor, Mr. Black Bear. (Technically, he probably lived here first).
Now, I’m convinced that Mr. Black Bear is at heart harmless, and wouldn’t approach me unless I offered him honey and a smile. Unfortunately, @ragingpandabear is otherwise convinced and has since banned me from running by myself. Solution? Getting up super early, running with me, as far as I want to go. He’s going to regret this I think. Especially because I think that Mr. Black Bear would not be any more intimidated by Chris than he would be by me.
This article tells me that black bears will climb trees and fiercely protect their young. These things are just fine with me – I don’t like to climb trees and I don’t want to mess with their young…even those I’m sure that black bears are really cute when they’re babies! Other than that, the National Geographic article makes them sound rather harmless, as long as we leave them alone.
However, this wikipedia article tells me that the black bears sometimes stalk and hunt humans. That’s sort of frightening, considering one of the bear sightings that happened today was actually in our apartment community! But, hopefully, there are enough dumpsters to keep Mr. Black Bear occupied and full, so that he’s not feeling the urge for some, err, fresh meat.
Some of the suggestions I’ve received to distract Mr. Black Bear, if I run into him:
Throw a chicken at him
Knock over a friend, so I have time to run away (Unfortunately, said friend may not have enough time to escape a hungry bear)
Carry an AK-47 or a very large handgun
Cover an unsuspecting stranger in honey, and run away
Get a tiger
While all of these suggestions are entertaining, they don’t seem very realistic.
Run at a track at a local school
Run inside (I don’t like this suggestion for several reasons)
Bear spray (Is this cruelty to animals?)
So, I don’t think we’ve come up with a true solution to this problem. Suggestions are welcome, but I think we’ll end up running together at the local high school track. With a tiger, if I can find one!
Picture courtesy of: www.wildlife.state.nh.us