KIDDER TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A close call for one man when he got very close to a black bear near Lake Harmony.
28/22 News spoke with the Pennsylvania Game Commission about some dos and don’ts when you come across a black bear.
A Carbon County man walked away with more than minor injuries during Labor Day weekend after his close encounter with a black bear.
Experts say if you do come across one of these critters, there are some steps you can take to stay safe.
“I think one of the absolute most important things to do if you encounter a black bear, whether it’s far away or its close up, is always try and give the black bear as much space as possible,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission Black Bear Program Manager Emily Carrollo.
Just like humans, bears also prefer their personal space.
Carrollo says black bears are naturally very weary of people. She says, typically, they will remove themselves from a situation with humans.
But if you do find yourself close to a black bear, Carollo says you should not turn your back and run away. Instead, you should slowly back away and make yourself as big and tall as possible.
“Really just making yourself as big as possible and talking loudly and firmly to a bear. Especially in close quarters, we wanna make sure that we’re very firm in saying like “Hey bear I don’t want any problems I back away you back away,” said Carollo.
Carrollo says you should never encourage a black bear to come close to you.
“You know there’s many things that bears are attracted to around human environments like garbage like bird seed like pet food small livestock like chickens,” Carollo explained.
Carrollo says you can avoid attracting bears to your property by keeping garbage out of a bear’s sight until garbage day or by taking down bird feeders.
“And in the end, I don’t want people to fear black bears, but I do want people to respect them. If we really create an environment where we’re not taking the time to bother bears. They’re not gonna take the time to bother us, they’re not gonna have negative interactions with us,” Carollo added.
Additional information on bear safety and tips can be found online.