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  1. #1
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    Default Bear Attack in NJ.

    This doesn't appear to be in on the AT but an attack nonetheless. My first thought was that NJ bears seem to be more aggressive. Maybe population encroachment just makes attacks more likely. I wonder in this case if the bear was using this cave as a place to Winter too.


    http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2...epage-featured

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    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Not an unprovoked attack, just a bear defending it's hibernation area:

    "Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers and the Wildlife Control Unit believe the bear was protecting its hibernation location and they do not, at this point, consider the bear to be a Category I bear," said Considine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Not an unprovoked attack, just a bear defending it's hibernation area:
    Thanks. I didn't see that as I'd read a condensed version from another site. Makes sense this time of year.

  4. #4

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    Once again the article only leaves a lot of questions, but bears don't protect their young (from humans), so I find it difficult to believe that they protect their hibernation spot and this link seems to support that idea. http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pag...nter-dens.html

    I do see this being a possible predation attack, mostly because I think the temps have been fairly mild, so the bear probably hasn't been in a very deep sleep, but I'm making a generalization of temps across the east coast, I haven't check recent weather logs for that area.

    The only other possibility I see is that the bear might have felt cornered -- big difference between an animal feeling cornered and protecting its hibernation spot.

    But again, there's just not enough information and it looks like this will go down as a mystery, never to be solved/investigated further, since there seems to be an official line already set down as the cause of this attack.

    BTW, that article really sucked, just too many questions....

  5. #5

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    "Human Population Enroachment" is the key phrase. So why not cull humans? We could drastically lower our numbers by simply closing our borders and lowering our birthrate over time. Give the bears some breathing room. We have 6,500,000 humans in Tennessee and about 5,000 black bears. Uh, and yet we are still "harvesting" black bears every year? How about working on our numbers first??

  6. #6

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    You want to control the population, then you need to lobby congress to NOT allow driver-less vehicle technology to be developed. Think of all the teenage texters, drunks and generally emotionally disturbed people that will be removed (effectively) from our highways

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Once again the article only leaves a lot of questions, but bears don't protect their young (from humans), so I find it difficult to believe that they protect their hibernation spot and this link seems to support that idea. http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pag...nter-dens.html
    You really think that a random internet site called "bear.org" is a valid source of information? I'm going to go ahead and trust the NJ wildlife professionals over a non-scientific website.

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    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Here's an article talking about bears defending hibernation sites. I wish people would just believe scientists and not make stuff up when they don't like the conclusions.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ce-humans.html

    [Bears] can wake up very quickly from hibernation to defend themselves if they believe they are about to be attacked - a skill that is necessary as they cannot burrow below ground for protection. Timothy Laske of Medtronic, a medical technology company in Minneapolis, said: 'When we retrieved our data, even though we tried to be as quiet as posible, the bears' heart rates increased before we reached the entrance to their winter den and remained elevated for a number of days. 'This confirms that despite apparent deep sleep, bears are always alert to danger and ready to act... Black bears often make their way into sub-urban areas which can be dangerous and stressful for both bears and humans,' he told the Independent newspaper.
    Also, pedaling fool, your quote that bears don't defend their young from humans is 100% wrong. Getting too close to cubs is a major risk factor for attacks. Or does "bear.org" disagree?

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Here's an article talking about bears defending hibernation sites. I wish people would just believe scientists and not make stuff up when they don't like the conclusions.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ce-humans.html



    Also, pedaling fool, your quote that bears don't defend their young from humans is 100% wrong. Getting too close to cubs is a major risk factor for attacks. Or does "bear.org" disagree?
    no, actually you're wrong. at least when it comes to black bears. black bears in fact do not aggressively defend their young from humans. this is a common misconception/urban myth which can be disproven from reading any number of very reputable sources.

    one of many such examples-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/sc...ears.html?_r=0

    now grizzlies on the other hand....

    information about defending hibernation sites, especially since black bears don't hibernate (hibernation, scientifically speaking, doesnt just mean spending a lot of time in a cave asleep) likewise is probably very different depending on black vs brown bears.

    to me this sounds pretty obvious that a "hibernating" bear got startled. if it was a predatory attack the guy would be a goner. black bears dont prey on humans often at all but when/if they do, playing dead is most definitely not advised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Here's an article talking about bears defending hibernation sites. I wish people would just believe scientists and not make stuff up when they don't like the conclusions.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ce-humans.html



    Also, pedaling fool, your quote that bears don't defend their young from humans is 100% wrong. Getting too close to cubs is a major risk factor for attacks. Or does "bear.org" disagree?
    another reputable source, though if youre like most people i show these too, youll insist to your dying breath that any source about this is wrong, just because.

    http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg...ml#mother-cubs

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Here's an article talking about bears defending hibernation sites. I wish people would just believe scientists and not make stuff up when they don't like the conclusions.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ce-humans.html
    Good reference. I'm not sure "just believing scientists" as a blanket rule is particularly good. But believe the amount of data we do have is certainly good. I think knowing the motivation of every bear attack is impossible but scientists definitely know of some of the reasons. In this case of this attack, he simply didn't expect a bear to be there. Frankly, from the multiple attacks that seem to occur in NJ I would enter the woods expecting anything. Heck, I do that in GA and bear encounters are rather rare here.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpolk84 View Post
    Good reference. I'm not sure "just believing scientists" as a blanket rule is particularly good. But believe the amount of data we do have is certainly good. I think knowing the motivation of every bear attack is impossible but scientists definitely know of some of the reasons. In this case of this attack, he simply didn't expect a bear to be there. Frankly, from the multiple attacks that seem to occur in NJ I would enter the woods expecting anything. Heck, I do that in GA and bear encounters are rather rare here.
    I don't disagree with this, however the one thing that stood out in the article that made me read it twice was the dog. In the article, the dog appears at the end of the event chasing the bear away, which does little to tell me what the dog was up to at the start of the event. Could be a partial story here, which may have been precipitated by the dog, requiring the scout leader to go into the cave to get the dog or something along those lines.

    Certainly, something caused the scout leader to go into the cave and have his day ruined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Not an unprovoked attack, just a bear defending it's hibernation area:
    Having tired of the bear population/danger debate, I will make an alternative comment that will likely roll as many eyes as my "do what Mainer's do" comments draw.

    Bears don't hibernate. They torpor.

    http://beartrust.org/do-bears-hibernate

    http://www.bigcat.org/news/the-truth...nd-hibernation

    So many misconceptions. So few open minds.

    But ya'. Copy Maine's approach.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    Bears don't hibernate. They torpor.
    Touche.

    Also, I just browsed through some scientific papers, and there are a number of reports of female black bears with cubs attacking people, but it is far more common for grizzlies. Herrero's book on bear attacks says that in areas with a lot of people (like, say, most of the AT), females with cubs are more likely to attack defensively than in less disturbed areas.

    Anyway, the bigger point about the bear in NJ defending its den stands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post

    Anyway, the bigger point about the bear in NJ defending its den stands.
    Absolutely. Common sense can be rare. Enjoy the bear debate folks. I am out.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

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    I think too many people try to ascribe reasons and rationale to a bear attack. They're bears. They are predators and have been attacking humans (and most anything else) for thousands of years. Yes, we should try to understand them and mitigate human attacks (and for that matter interaction) but I see too many people trying to ascribe meaning to these attacks or worse, ascribe blame...to both sides. We should try to learn from attacks like this, don't get me wrong, but barring being there at the time we just don't know who's to "blame." Frankly, in nature there really is no blame. There simply is nature.

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    maybe he was looking for the man who shot his pa !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    "Human Population Enroachment" is the key phrase. So why not cull humans? We could drastically lower our numbers by simply closing our borders and lowering our birthrate over time. Give the bears some breathing room. We have 6,500,000 humans in Tennessee and about 5,000 black bears. Uh, and yet we are still "harvesting" black bears every year? How about working on our numbers first??
    Well said.....people are ignorant...


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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Touche.

    Also, I just browsed through some scientific papers, and there are a number of reports of female black bears with cubs attacking people, but it is far more common for grizzlies. Herrero's book on bear attacks says that in areas with a lot of people (like, say, most of the AT), females with cubs are more likely to attack defensively than in less disturbed areas.

    Anyway, the bigger point about the bear in NJ defending its den stands.
    the NY times article i supplied the link to can be neatly summed up like this-

    1) black bear attacks are very rare
    2) documented attacks of black bears on humans are overwhelmingly a loan male who sees a human as prey.

    i dont know who herrero is or what he is saying, but it would seem he has access to different statistics and reports if he knows of a number of mama black bears attacking humans in defense of cubs. no statistics i have ever seen anywhere supports this notion.

    have you ever ran across a female with cubs out hiking on the AT or in another area such as you describe? i have, many times. they run off and/or climb a tree as if all the demons of hell were after them.

    ive also walked up on a large adult male. he wasnt scared of me at all. we stopped and looked at each other sizing each other up for what seemed like an eternity before he dropped his gaze and slowly and deliberately continued on his way.

    i'll take the mama and her cubs any days, thanks.

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    I dislike this idea that seems prevalent in our community that the woods are "bear territory" and wildlife "own" the woods. This is asinine in my opinion. They don't "own" the woods any more then we do. We cohabitate with them while we are in the woods so we must be smart about what we do, but they have no superior claim to the woods than we do.
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