Why bears attack? - The Way I See It by Gál László

Why bears attack? - The Way I See It

I find it so irritating, how people make such a big fuss over bear attacks, so I decided to say my opinion - even if no one has asked for it. If not for else, only to offer an insight for those readers, who might visit my area.

What I am about to write down is not based on scientific knowledge, but on personal experience and as such might involve mistakes.

What allows me to say my opinion? The many years experience - although not as much experience as those people, who are observing bears day by day, long hours from the observatory towers. No, I don´t belong to those people - until today I spotted about 40 bears, most of them from close, only some of them from farther than 50 m. An other disadvantage is that I never had the chance to observe them for longer, I think the longest time spent "together” was not more than 40 minutes.

First of all I have to state that the bear is, like any other wild animal, a creature driven by his instincts. The instincts are: survival and multiplication. 

Let's see what can we read in  the newspapers, without the intention of entirety and quoting:

BEAR -   badly injured an old man

-   attacked people who were collecting mushrooms in the forest
-   lamed a young man, looking for his horses in the forest
-   brake in a farm, killed the pigs, sheep, beeves, rabbits ...
-   destroyed the orchard
-   attacked hunters
-   killed a young man
-   and so on and on

The sad thing is that all this is true, and we have do to something against it. Just like in case of illnesses, we shouldn't treat the symptoms but the cause.

The aim of the newspaper articles: to inform the public.
The hidden aim of the newspaper articles: to mislead and to influence the public.

The authors of the articles are most of the time not aware that they are being used for this aim
So now what? Well, the sad truth is, that hunting as such is about to disappear, and business is taking over its place. Since the government is giving limited hunting licenses for every hunters association, they need a way to extend them. One of these ways is to set the public against the wild animals.

The best tool for this is the newspaper. The more articles appear in the newspapers, the more people  read about it. The more people know about it, the bigger the fuss is around the topic. The bigger the fuss is, the greater becomes the pressure on the government to give hunting licenses. AIM reached.
Illness APPARENTLY healed.

Let's take a look at the source of the illness:

Here's an author, Viktor Maderspach,  writing hunting stories - why exactly him? Because I am just reading one of his writings, from which I will also quote.

IMPORTANT - this is not the only case like this.

"The cub could hardly keep pace. When left behind he started to shrill, like a small pig, stopping the mother and making her wait for him and even support him in moving forward pushing him in front of her”

" ...the cub, on whose tiredness I could certainly count, will slow down the mother's escape in such a measure that it will be though possible for me to catch up with them if I am persistent enough.”

"... the cub was hiding among the branches of a slanting beech tree, and crying out desperately after his mother, who carelessly left him behind. Catching him now was easy.”

Now let's look with the eyes of the mother BEAR. If once experienced the bear will never forget such a trauma. Next time, when her cub will be in danger, she will act instinctively, and we cannot predict if  she will decide to run away again or …

Something similar - but one ending with the death of a person -  happened in the near past in Kommandó. Of course we are not talking about the same bear as the one in the previous case. This time two people tried to steal the cub from the cave (this being not their first intent). The mother bear finished with one of them on spot.

What stands in the newspaper?  Bear kills a young man
But who wouldn't kill a man intending to steal one's child? So who is bothering whom?

People collecting mushrooms in the forests can anytime get close to happily playing cubs - the mother bear will REACT, because she doesn't know the nature of the people's intentions. An other example is the wounded, bleeding bear. Though, unfortunately there are no statistics about the number of injured bears, we can anytime meet one. There is NO excuse.

True story in a nutshell- told by the person involved in it:

He went after his horses on the plain, together with his dog. The small dog suddenly ran away, barking. He went after him, curious what the dog might have found. As soon as he got there, the dog was already on his way back, followed by the angry mother bear.

An other case from this year: Old shepherd, following  his loudly barking dog flock. A cub captive in the river. Unfortunately the shepherd arrives in the same time as the mother bear. The dogs run away, he is taken away by the ambulance. No one holds the shepherd responsible for holding a flock of dogs, there is no such thing as permitted number of dogs, and no one asks if the dogs are on leash or not.

Who was caught by the bear?  Why weren't the dogs kept on leash?

Material damages.

Let's just take some examples,stories that are not true.

An adult bear needs 100 acre territory to survive. From this 50 acre is clearfelling and no one intends to replant them - except for some, rather rare. Half of the remaining territory is pasture. The bear looks for food, but finds nothing, because the sheep and the beeves finished already all. No problem, he tries his chance in the forest, there is also some grass and a lot of acorns. He finds heavy sheep smell in the forest, no grass, no acorn. Things not eaten by the sheep are collected by their owners, and brought home for the other domestic animals. Our bear heads into the raspberry, mulberry, blackberry bushes...and what is to be found here? PEOPLE collecting wild berries.

He still hopes to find at least some mushrooms that would take the edge off his appetite, but the mushrooms are already in the baskets. Maybe wild cherry? The cherry tree is just being cut out to serve as board. He would catch the ill wild boar, or the injured deer, but the shepherd' s free dog flock already finished with them. After all this, tired, but not having a place to rest in the noisy forest - the bear moves on the neighbour's territory, where the situation is the same. Having no other choice he heads the next neighbouring territory.

What is happening? Given is a bear with 300 acre territory. Where do those bears go who have been chased away? In the orchard and after that in the SHED of domestic animals, to eat those animals who have been grown nice fat on his food. Bears become homeless, trying to find a shelter close to the food, then they steal and rob. They are avoiding each other, but they quit their 100 acre pro head.

What stands in the newspaper?

Bears multiplying exceedingly.
Bears plundering villages.

How do farmers protect against this? Of course with traps...- even the small rat jumps on people if cornered. The reaction of the bear... I will just leave it up to your fantasy.

Finally let me repeat: this is no official source and gives just a few details.

“If the cap fits wear it”