Know the Language of Black Bears

If you by chance encounter a black bear it may:

    – Stand on its hind legs to get a better look at you
    – Salivate excessively, exhale loudly, and make huffing, moaning, clacking and popping sounds with its mouth, teeth and jaws
    – Lower its head with its ears drawn back while facing you
    – Charge forward, and/or swat the ground with its paws. This is also known as a bluff charge

Generally, the noisier the bear is, the less dangerous it is provided you don’t approach the bear. These are all warning signals bears give to let you know you are too close. When bears are caught off guard, they are stressed, and usually just want to flee.

Bear Portrait

Credit: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Bear Wise Program. Photography – Mike McIntosh