A group of hikers visiting a park in northern Mexico were surprised when a black bear approached them. For a few seconds, the bear got close to two female hikers who stood still and snapped a few selfies with the animal.
The viral video shows that both women stayed calm while other hikers tried to scare the bear away and asked the women not to move to prevent the bear from attacking them.
The incident took place at the Chipinque Ecological Park in San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León.
These types of events and sightings are common in nearby residential areas, especially during the dry season. According to experts, the bears leave the mountains to search for water and food.
Nuevo León’s Civil Protection department warned people to stay calm, never get between a bear and her cub, do not take photographs of the bear, and do not take selfies if you come across a black bear.
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According to defenders.org, the American black bear is the smallest of the three bears species found in North America and is found only in North America.
Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing ability.
The black bear’s fur is usually a uniform color except for a brown muzzle and light markings that sometimes appear on their chests. Eastern populations are usually black while western populations often show brown, cinnamon, and blond coloration in addition to black. Black bears with white-bluish fur are known as Kermode (glacier) bears and these unique color phases are only found in coastal British Columbia, Canada.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the black bear (Ursus americanus) is found in the forests of North America, including parts of Mexico.
Black bears that are actually brown are most common in western North America. They are sometimes called brown bears, but the true brown bear is much larger.
The black bear is large and stocky and has a short tail. Adults range from 1.5 to 1.8 meters in length and weigh 90–270 kg. Moreover, male bears can be up to 70% heavier than female bears. The head is small but is supported by a strong neck. The ears are small and rounded. The curved claws are non-retractile, and bears walk on the soles of their feet.
Although bears are commonly classified as carnivores, black bears have an omnivorous diet. In spring they consume emerging plants and carcasses of animals that have died during the winter. Fruits dominate the diet in summer, and both fruit and mast, especially acorns and beechnuts, constitute most of the fall diet. Additionally, black bears will also eat pinecones, roots, ants, and honey from wild or domestic bees. Nonetheless, black bears are strong predators, and in some areas, they frequently kill moose calves and deer fawns during spring.
Black bears living near humans adapt readily to alternate food sources, such as garbage from dumps or campsites and handouts from tourists in parks. Human encounters with black bears occasionally result in injury or death, and attacks are reported every year. In almost all cases, avoiding surprise encounters is the best defense, as black bears prefer to avoid people.
According to the encyclopedia, “black bears become dormant during winter. They spend the winter in dens located in rock crevices, in underground burrows, under tree roots, in hollow trees, in brush piles, or simply on open-ground beds. Before winter sleep, bears must accumulate large quantities of body fat during late summer and fall. Not only does this enable them to survive the long period of winter fasting, but it also allows them to have sufficient energy in spring when they emerge and food is rare. For females, the amount of fat stored before winter is linked with reproductive success: fatter females typically have more and bigger young than do leaner females. Accumulating fat for the winter is thus a strong drive, and it explains the constant search for food through the summer and fall.”
Black bears are not territorial; they are mostly solitary, and the home ranges of both males and females may overlap. Home ranges typically are larger where food is less abundant and smaller where food is plentiful.
Black bears can live for more than 20 years in the wild, but in areas near human habitation, most black bears die sooner as a result of hunting, trapping, poaching, nuisance removal near campgrounds, or dumps, and collision with vehicles.
In natural habitats, black bears are active during the day. However, in areas of high human activity, black bears often become nocturnal to avoid encounters with humans. Nevertheless, black bears “habituate quickly to handouts given by tourists, and this lack of fear of humans often leads to conflicts.”
Source: El Universal
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