Understanding How Black Bears React to Humans

If you’re booking one of the excellent bear tours offered by specialist wildlife travel companies, you should do some homework on your fascinating subject, including how these animals react around people within their habitat. When you embark on wildlife holidays like this, you are entering the world of the animals; you need to respect and appreciate how they think, why they react, and even what they may perceive when they see you.

Black Bears, in particular, are of great interest to nature lovers, but how exactly do these magnificent beasts react when they encounter humans?

Be Safe in the Habitat

Firstly, it is important to note that when you’re on organised bear tours it is very unlikely you’ll see any aggressive behaviour from the animals. Despite having a reputation for being rather frightening, they rarely attack humans and are, in fact, respectfully fearful of humans – preferring to avoid them whenever possible. That said, it is sensible to be wary and to know the signs to look out for. Here are a few tips on what to expect when you encounter one in the wild.

Entering Bear Habitat

Black Bears in the wild may act aggressively if they perceive a threat in their immediate environment, most often reacting if they are defending a source of food, or if a mother is with her cubs. If a bear feels threatened, it may ‘pop’ its jaw or swat its paw at the ground – and these are both signs to be wary of. There may be lots of snorting and blowing and even a charge or lunge towards whatever is threatening them in an attempt to scare it away. A bear isn’t usually looking for a fight – merely to warn a threat that they are unhappy with its close proximity.

If there is ever an encounter that involves a physical attack, it is usually because the bear has been surprised. Black Bear attacks have been mainly linked to mothers protecting their young. On the rare occasion a bear approaches a human in a submissive manner, it is more often than not simply out of curiosity. It can also be an adult exercising its dominance and, if this happens, the advice is to talk to the animal in a firm voice and move out of its way as soon as possible.

For those on bear tours, it is far more likely to see the animals at a distance or be in a protected hide – both of which, by default, signify a respect of its personal space. There is never a need to approach an animal closely, so it should not feel threatened and feel the need to react in an aggressive manner.

For anyone embarking on bear tours, safety is always paramount in the organisation of the itinerary, however it certainly pays to be aware of any wild animal’s behaviour patterns.

Discover the Link Between Bears and Mythology

Bear watching holidays are offered by some very reputable and expert wildlife travel companies. You can go bear watching in Europe, North America or Canada, depending on which species you want to see. Before you embark on a wildlife tour, however, you may be keen to learn more about this majestic animal’s place in their own world and ours.

Often feared, bears are also revered by many cultures and have been very much respected throughout history. Here is a brief insight into to their links to mythology.

Worship and Mythology Around the World

According to anthropologists, bears have been worshipped since prehistoric times – including Joseph Campbell, who studied their depiction in the culture of many of the fishing and hunting tribes of the past.

The ancient Finns (and other Siberian tribes) believed that the animal was the spirit of their forefathers, so nurtured huge respect for it – referring to it by several culturally significant names and endowing it as the national animal of Finland.

The Russians have a traditional fairy tale “Morozko”, in which the bad guy tries to kill a female and her cubs. He is punished and, as a consequence, has his head turned into a bear’s, which renders him ostracised by society.

The Scots have a fairy tale called “The Brown Bear of Norway”, which tells the tale of a girl who marries a handsome prince who then turns into a bear. Watching her lover take on this animal guise doesn’t change her feelings for him, and through her love he is able to regain his human form.

The animal also has a history of being worshipped in Eastern cultures, including the Chinese and Ainu people. In Korea, they are considered a symbolic animal, and legend tells of a god who set a female bear a very difficult test, which, if she passed, would allow her to reincarnate as a woman free to marry the god.

The people of the Alpine regions of Europe also hold a reverence for the animals. According to legend, St Corbinian tamed a dangerous bear and made it carry his bags over the mountains; while St Romedius is also said to have tamed one of the animals in order to get it to carry him from his secluded abode in the mountains all the way to Trento.

Even in our own, more modern, Western culture, the stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Berenstain Bears, and Winnie the Pooh are testament to the way we respect and honour these wonderful creatures.

It is fascinating to reflect on just how prominently the bear has featured in culture and mythology throughout the ages and across the world. For those about to travel to an exotic destination on a bear watching tour, it reinforces just how strong our relationship with this wonderful animal is.

Diving Into the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

AN OVERVIEW OF ANDAMANS

Andaman Island is one among the most beautiful destinations in India. Did you even know that this island is still a Union territory and not a state? Well, there are only a handful of Union territories in India. The island is situated at a distance of around 1400 – 1500 kilometres from Chennai and Kolkata. Also, the Andaman Islands archipelago consists of a total of 572 islands, of which only 72 are inhabited by people rest all comes under Indian Navy or the Andaman Forest Department.

WHY SCUBA DIVING IN ANDAMANS

The island beauty is intriguing and is rightly so. With so many unique things in the Andaman islands it sometimes gets difficult to explain all the areas. Today, we will stick with only Scuba Diving. The marine life in the Andamans excites travelers from all across the globe. People from United States, UK, Europe and Israel visit this destination on a regular basis. This activity in Andaman is one of a kind experience and should be done once in a lifetime at least.

Now where to go for Scuba Diving in Andamans? My recommendation will be to either try it in North Bay Island, a small picturesque island very close to the capital city Port Blair. Did you know that North Bay island is the same island that is seen in the back of a 20 Rupee note, or in Havelock Island, a heaven for all the travelers who visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Though the basic courses carry same excitement both in North Bay and Havelock Island, however for advance PADI/SSI courses Havelock Island is better.

THINGS TO KNOW WHILE DOING DIVING IN ANDAMAN ISLANDS

Though there is now a trend hitting the islands where anyone offers scuba diving, however my recommendation will be to do a verification check of the dive company before going underwater with any given agency:

* Check for how credible the dive institute is. Make sure that the Dive center is recognized by reputed organizations such PADI/SSI. These associations regularly check about the quality of the institute.

* Also check whether the institute is recognized by the Government of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

* Ask for how many Dive Instructors the unit has.

* Check whether proper equipment is given to you before the Scuba Diving begins.

* Check whether the right amount of Oxygen is present in your tank.

* Make sure the training given is good and you are satisfied with the basic training that is given before the diving begins in case you are not satisfied with the training program then you can stop continuing your course.

Though these points might sound daunting, however, it is very useful for someone going for scuba diving for the first time in Andaman Island.The cost of Scuba diving in Andaman various some from Rupees 4000 to Rupees 40000. It all depends upon the type of course you select.

The Andaman archipelago is a great destination to explore the underwater reef, and I surely think that the experience here will become a long-lasting memory.