Black Bear Escapes Charging Grizzly Bear With ‘Powerful Exit Strategy’

A black bear which was pursued by a much larger and faster grizzly bear was able to escape by using its "powerful exit strategy" -- climbing.

Jimmy Orr

June 16, 20212 min read

Black bear and grizzly bear
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Heeding proper bear advice is important. It can be a matter of life or death.

Thinking it’s possible to outrun a bear is fraught with peril.

A video shared on Tuesday by Glacier National Park shows why attempting to run from a bear is a bad idea.

The video showed what could have been a nasty confrontation between a grizzly bear and a black bear.

The National Park Service describes the encounter as a battle for food. It’s still not plentiful, so battles over a food source happens often.

That means, as horrible as it sounds, a bear can be the equivalent of a cheeseburger for another bear.

In this case, a much larger grizzly goes after a black bear, but the black bear does not turn into a cheeseburger.

That’s because of — as the Park Service describes it — the black bear’s exit strategy: climbing.

The black bear escaped up a tree.  And although the grizzly acted like it was going to follow the black bear up, it couldn’t.  Although it gave the viewing public a thrill.

Glacier National Park described the difference of the two bears like this:

“The short, sharp claws of the black bear are ideal for tree climbing. The grizzly’s longer, duller claws are great for digging, but poor for climbing—especially because an adult grizzly is substantially heavier than a black bear,” the Park Service said.

It’s a fantastic video and a great lesson for humans who think they can outsmart bears.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.