Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bear books and attacks

I am heading for Yellowstone National Park to hike and camp this weekend. In preparation for my trip I just finished reading The Mark of the Grizzly by Scott McMillion. The book discusses some recent grizzly attacks and what various people thought they might have wrong to provoke the attack and what they did right or wrong during the attack. Of course some didn't do anything "wrong", they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and surprised a grizzly. Others stated that they didn't know whether the actions taken during the attack made it worse or helped reduce injuries. I enjoyed the book and it made me think about being in grizzly country and hiking alone. I won't stop hiking alone and do carry bear spray and hope not to have close encounters with bears.

I've read several other books on bears and bear attacks, most notably Steven Herrero's Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance. Herrero's book offers specific guidance on avoiding and surviving both black and grizzly bear attacks and is considered the best text on the subject.

This morning I saw a story on a bear mauling in Yellowstone in the Seattle Times. I wish there was more information such as where the man was hiking. I looked in the Morning Report but it was not yet reported there.

I am aware the actual danger from a bear attack in Yellowstone or Glacier Parks or elsewhere in the USA lower 48 states is low, probably much lower than the danger of driving to these locations. Still, it is a lot more exciting to consider the dangers of bears than of driving. And just as I want to avoid a car accident, I want to avoid an attack by a grizzly or any animal.

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