Predatory Bears and Perspective

There was a human mortality in the Soda Butte campground, Montana caused by a grizzly bear female and her 3 cubs of the year.

It is thought that this is an example of predation on the bear’s part because the campers camped by the rules.

My bible on these kind of events is Stephen Herraro’s book “Bear Attacks”. Herraro writes about predatory bears in his book.

The impression I got was that you have to look at the history of bears in a campground if a bear shows up, and hangs around a campground (tracks and scat)…you can close a campground down until the bear or bears leaves or you can have a bear manager stay up all night and use something like cracker shells or rubber bullets to chase the bears from the campground, hopefully before a camper is killed. The first order of business is to keep a bearproof or “clean camp”…in any event all camping areas in bear habitat are predisposed to predatory bears.

Yesterday I started to put the death of this bear into perspective but I got distracted…so I will try again today.

There are 250,000 persons in Western Montana, Northern Idaho, and Northeastern Washington.

In that same area, if you use the highest numbers that I have seen there are 1,850 grizzly Bears. My point is that no matter how you cut it there are not many grizzly bears in an area this size and back east 30 million persons thrive in an area this size. The Yellowstone Subpopulation of bears is confined to a habitat island that is eroding as I write this post. Persons acceptance of the grizzly bear on private and public lands is low…so I see for a lot of reasons,the grizzly bear of this area lasting 20 more years at this rate and long-lived bears will last about another 15 years past that…so by the middle of this century grizzly bears will be rare to nonexsistant and this part of the bear’s range will be a part of carnivore history.

Most experts view bear predation on humans as a very rare event.


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