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Look at the size of this grizzly bear paw

From West Coast Native News: "This is how big a grizzly bears paw is – by the way, the bear is sedated and about to be tagged."

Photo of bear poking head through cat door

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Doug Harder who resides near Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho photographed this handsome bear attempting to come into his condo via the cat door last week.

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Man fights off bear attack near Yosemite, then drives himself to hospital

California Black Bear (not the actual bear that attacked the man in this story)


California Black Bear (not the actual bear that attacked the man in this story)

A 67-year-old California man fought off a bear that attacked him on his front porch, scavenging for food in his trash. The man and the bear both live near Yosemite National Park. Both bear and human survived, though the man was seriously injured with many cuts and trauma wounds from the fight, according to Lt. Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Alaska troopers want to know why idiot in bear suit is harassing grizzlies

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Why would someone wear a realistic bear costume and use it bother a mother grizzly and her two cubs trying to eat salmon in an Alaska river? First of all, he's lucky the mother bear didn't eviscerate him when he ran to within five to ten feet of the cubs and began “waving and jumping,” according to a group of people watching from a respectful distance. Second, it's stressful to the bears.

Alaska Fish and Game technician Lou Cenicola, was able to move the mother bear out of the way, and he tried to talk to the man. The man didn't remove the bear head, and didn't identify himself. He told Cenicola, “You have the license plate number. You figure it out.” Then he drove away, still in costume.

State troopers are investigating and said the man could face wildlife harassment charges. [via]

Image: Shutterstock

Appalling bear attack on man

I can barely watch, but anyone who has seen "Grizzly Man" will understand that bears are wild animals and should not be trifled with.

Japanese show: bear attacks person in a plastic cube

UPDATE:
NOT A LEMUR
NOT A PANTHER
NOT A GAME SHOW
BUT IT MIGHT BE A BEAR

According to Boing Boing reader Malcom Bell: "ItteQ is a travel show and this is a one-off. The woman in the box is Imoto Ayako."


Imoto Ayako

The show is called Sekai No Hate Made Itteq! (translated: Riddles at the Ends of the Earth!)

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Huge bear eats bag of dog food and naps on someone's lawn

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This black bear ate a 20-pound bag of dog food out of a garage in Seminole County, Florida and fell into a food coma right on the homeowner's lawn.

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Bear Belly Flop over Alaska waterfall

Captured at Katmai National Park in Alaska.

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Colorado bear with munchies breaks into pie shop, eats all pies but one

The bear was kind of a slob. Photo: Colorado Cherry Company


The bear was kind of a slob. Photo: Colorado Cherry Company

“Outside the store there is a trail of sugar. And a clump of cherries,” reports a Denver, CO TV news station, dramatically.

A hungry bear in Colorado broke into a local pie shop, and helped himself to some pie. In fact, he helped himself to all of the pie. He ate every last pie in the place, except for one flavor.

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Koala baby won't let go of mom while she undergoes surgery. Both survived being hit by a car.

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A heart-melting story and series of photographs out of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. A 6-month-old koala joey named Phantom keeps clinging to his mother Lizzy while veterinary surgeons operate on her.

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Don't Feed The Bears: we'll end up having to kill them

We accidentally train wild bears to snatch our pic-i-nic baskets, and then try to use the same tactics to turn them back toward lives of bark and berries. Recent encounters with humans, writes Maggie Koerth-Baker, show that the forces of psychology are working against us. Read the rest

Oh nothing, just rare video of a polar bear mom nursing her cubs

Chris Thonis, writing to Boing Boing on behalf of explore.org, sends along this video of a mother polar bear in Churchill, Manitoba nursing her two cubs. Chris explains:

This is a behavior rarely caught on camera, and is the result of three live cams set up by explore.org, Polar Bears International, Parks Canada, and Frontiers North Adventure to capture the annual polar bear migration this year (the point being to get people to think more about how climate change is impacting the north, and inspire an annual event similar to Earth Day (or Groundhog Day).

3 Facts about bears and lady business

Good news for ladies who like the woods—your period is (probably) not something that attracts (most) bears.

There are not a lot of studies addressing this particular topic, but a National Park Service paper published this year took a look at all of them and put the scattered pieces information together into a single puzzle. It's probably not a complete picture, but it's certainly better than hearsay and random, sexist stories you heard from your grandpa's drinking buddy. More importantly, even when there is a documented risk between menstrual blood and bears, that shouldn't be construed as a reason to keep women out of the wilderness. After all, bears are attracted to food, and we don't tell people they shouldn't eat while backpacking. Instead, we have practices that reduce risk. Same thing applies here.

Here's what we learn:
1) You can menstruate freely and without fear in the contiguous 48 United States. Grizzlies, and particularly black bears, don't seem to be interested in what's happening in your pants. Evaluating hundreds of grizzly attacks found no correlation between menstruation and risk of attack. In the case of black bears, this has actually been tested experimentally, with researchers leaving used tampons from various stages of menstruation out in the wilderness and watching how the bears respond. (Science!) The bears completely ignored the tampons.

2) Yellowstone data suggests food is a much bigger risk than menstruation. Analysis of bear attack data from Yellowstone National Park doesn't even consider attacks that happened before 1980. Why? Because that was before stringent rules on in-park food storage and bear feeding. The vast majority of pre-1980 attacks are already known to be related to bears seeking out human food. Meanwhile, between 1980 and 2011 only 9 women have been injured by bears in Yellowstone. Of those, six were incidents where women and bears ran into each other unexpectedly on hiking trails. In the other three incidents, which didn't rely on the element of surprise and are, thus, more likely to have attraction factors involved none of the women were menstruating at the time of the attack.

3) Polar bears are a whole 'nother story. Two different polar bear studies, one in captivity and one in the wild, have shown that those bears are attracted to human menstrual blood—even more than plain old human blood that wasn't related to menstruation. They are also attracted to the scent of seals and (again) human food.

Big picture: Food still seems to be a bigger issue in bear attacks than menstruating ladies. And, as with food, the Park Service has guidelines that you can follow for how to best deal with tampons while in the wilderness.

Read the full National Parks Service report, including the safety guidelines for women on their periods

Via Mother Nature Network

Meanwhile, some bears are fishing salmon out of a river in Alaska

#Bearcam may just be the best thing ever. Explore.org has two hi-def webcams turned on in Alaska's Brooks River in Katmai National Park. More than a hundred Brown Bears gather along a mile long stretch of Brooks River there each year, to pig out on the world's largest Sockeye Salmon run. And now, we get to watch the whole thing online. (via @gregmitchell)

Killer bears, and the humans who track them down

Freelance journalist Jessica Grose has a fascinating "long read" in Slate this week (and I'm not kidding about the long part, 8,000 words!) about Bear True Crimes: wild bears in and around Yellowstone National Park who, for one reason or another, attack humans.

Why does this happen? What's it like for the humans who survive? Who investigates the attacks, all CSI-style with DNA analysis and whatnot, and figures out what to do with the problem bears? Is it right to kill them?

Grose's report begins with the story of a mother bear who attacked campers in late 2011. Snip:

The euthanization of the bear known as “the Wapiti sow” was the culmination of a series of horrifying events that had gripped Yellowstone for months, and alarmed rangers, visitors, and the conservation biologists tasked with keeping grizzly bears safe. In separate incidents in July and August, grizzlies had killed hikers in Yellowstone, prompting a months-long investigation replete with crime scene reconstructions and DNA analysis, and a furious race to capture the prime suspect. The execution of the Wapiti sow opens a window on a special criminal justice system designed to protect endangered bears and the humans who share their land. It also demonstrates the difficulty of judging animals for crimes against us. The government bear biologists who enforce grizzly law and order grapple with the impossibility of the task every day. In the most painful cases, the people who protect these sublime, endangered animals must also put them to death.

Read Grose's "A Death in Yellowstone: On the trail of a killer grizzly bear," then read her interview with a woman who was attacked by a grizzly and lived to tell the tale. There's an interview with Grose about the reporting project at The Awl.

When I traveled to this area with Miles O'Brien for a PBS NewsHour piece about wolves last year (watch the video!), we visited the very room where some elements of the Wapiti Sow case would be managed just months later. It's the Office of Bear Management.

(Photo: "Growling Grizzly Bear with Snow," by Dennis Donohue, via Shutterstock)