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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Anne

Please Don't Run from Bears...

In the past year, I've become quite enamored with bears. If you heard the gruesome podcast stories I regularly listen to about bears, you'd think that I'd be terrified of them, but I'm not. Actually, knowing bear behavior makes me feel safe while gallivanting out in their habit.

For some reason, my brain has been primed to absorb bear facts. I can't tell you who the fifth president of the United States was, but I can tell you how fast each species of bear can run--circling us back to the title of this post: please don't run from bears.

Since becoming mildly (okay utterly, but whatever) bear obsessed, I've sniffed out quite a few fun bear stories to read to my preschool students. One theme I've noticed throughout each book is running from bears. This irks me and I now feel there is a need for more general information on how to actually respond if you encounter a bear. I could make this post an entire essay on what to do in a bear encounter, but I'll save that for the children's book I shall someday pen titled We Are NOT Going on a Bear Hunt. As opposed to one of my formerly favorite books We're Going on a Bear Hunt where a father takes his children on a bear hunt and when they find the bear, they run and run and run. Just kidding, it's still my favorite book. But maybe I'll take my students on a moose hunt instead, because you should definitely run from a moose.

I will, however, leave you with this:

Running from a bear triggers a predatory response. If it didn't think of you as meal before you ran, it will definitely see you as a meal on two legs as it's chasing you. It will easily catch you, and then you are SOL. Best to stand your ground and outwit the bear instead. Always bring bear spray on hikes, even short ones. It works great on other predatory animals and humans, too. So there really is no reason not to have bear spray with you, in my humble opinion.

Now that we know not to run from bears, please enjoy my sweet watercolor painting of a black bear in The Great Smoky Mountains.

This original watercolor painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop!

Until next time, my friends.

Carpe Diem,

Melissa Anne

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