We always love a good bear story and 2020 has some good ones already.
Anyone who follows the Facebook page Wyoming Through the Lens has been able to watch the adventures of the grizzly bear called “399” and her four cubs.
Then there’s the story of the furthest south documented grizzly sighting in 50-plus years who was spotted near Kemmerer a couple weeks ago.
Now there’s a confirmed sighting of a black bear near Curt Gowdy State Park in southern Wyoming.
This isn’t that momentous as black bears have a big range in the U.S., from Alaska to Florida, and they are listed as a “least-concern species” due to their widespread distribution and large population..
The reason the state park is calling attention to the bear is more cautionary in nature.
“The bear is reported to have cubs with her, which can lead to a potentially dangerous encounter,” the park wrote on its Facebook page.
What to do if you encounter this bear or any bear?
Don’t attempt to feed it beets or strike up a conversation about Battlestar Galactica. It works on a sitcom, but not in real life.
Instead the U.S. Forest Service offers this advice:
- DO NOT RUN.
- Remain calm.
- Group together and pick up small children.
- Continue to face the bear and back away slowly, talking calmly to identify yourself as a human.
- If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making yourself as large and imposing as possible by stretching your arms overhead and making loud noises.
- Carry and know how to use bear spray, which is available at many outdoor retailers and can be used to deter a charging bear.
And if worst comes to worst, just remember this old joke: You don’t have to outrun a bear. You just have to outrun your friend.