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Bear Myths? Or Bear Facts?

Many people find black bears and grizzly bears fascinating, but at the end of the day, they are wild animals. Nobody wants to get attacked by a bear, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there about bears and their behavior. 

Is it a myth or a fact? Here are some common myths you might find about bears, along with the truth.

Bears Have Poor Eyesight

Maybe it’s because bears have an excellent sense of smell that people think they must have poor eyesight. This is not true at all. During the day, bears can see just as well as humans. At night, they can see even better. Bears have a tapetum lucidum, which is a reflective membrane on the back of their eye. This membrane reflects light and greatly enhances their night vision.

Bears Are Carnivores

Grizzly and black bears are actually omnivores, as they eat both plants and animals. In fact, only a small percentage of their diet consists of meat. While most bears will eat fish, insects, and other mammals, the exact amount depends on the type of food available.

Once a Bear Has Tasted Human Food, They Will No Longer Eat Wild Food 

Bears prefer natural, wild food, but the problem is that it is not always available. Plants may stop producing berries and bodies of water may dry up, making it hard to find fish and fruit to eat. 

When bears do not find enough food to eat, they will go after human food, as well as bird feed, pet food, barbecue grease, and compost. 

Bears Can’t Run Downhill

Bears are pretty fast, whether they are running uphill, downhill, or on flat land. In fact, bears can run up to 35 miles per hour, which is as fast as a horse. You will not be able to outrun a bear. If you encounter a bear, stand tall, wave your arms, talk loudly, and back away slowly.

A Bear Standing on Its Hind Legs is About to Charge

You don’t have to be too concerned about a bear standing on its hind legs. It is likely just trying to better identify what has caught its attention. It is much easier for bears to see things from a standing position than it is being down on all fours.

You Should Not Hike or Camp While Menstruating

Many people think you cannot go camping or hiking while menstruating because a bear will be more likely to attack you. This is not true. However, you should treat sanitary products as you would any other garbage when hiking or camping. Wrap waste in plastic and store it in your daypack (when hiking) or in a bear-resistant container (when camping).

Contact Us Today

Bears are interesting creatures. Get up close and personal with black bears and grizzly bears by scheduling a trip to Yellowstone Bear World. We reopen for the season in April 2024, so make a plan to visit our drive-thru wildlife park and see amazing wildlife from the comfort of your vehicle.

Learn more about our offerings by calling (208) 359-9688 or contacting us online.

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