4 Things Not to Say to a Black Bear

After watching a few episodes of the Grizzly Man Diaries on Animal Planet and knowing of the less than optimal outcome for the grizzly man (eaten by bears), I’ve put together a list of things not to say to black bears while in Jasper National Park.

Black bears are much more common in Jasper and tend to react differently than grizzlies.  The words said during a black bear encounter make a lot of difference.

While I’m no bear expert, the following are bad things to say to black bears in Jasper:

IMG_2797 (Photo by kisadv)

“Would you like to eat this sandwich from my hand?”

The bears might confuse it with “Would you like to eat this hand from my sandwich?”  Not surprisingly, very few black bears can comprehend English.  Even fewer can read or write.

Black bears tend to hibernate during the school year and their education suffers because of it.  Speak slowly and clearly and use small words to increase the odds of being fully understood.  Remember, English is a second-language for black bears.

“The Edmonton Oilers are better than the Calgary Flames!”

Most black bears are hockey fanatics in Jasper National Park and tend to like the Calgary Flames better than the Edmonton Oilers.  It is simply a matter of culinary taste.   9 out of 10 black bears prefer spicy, hot food.  The Calgary Flames appeal to the taste buds of discerning black bears. The Oilers are known amongst local bears to leave a bad aftertaste.

“Hey, Boo Boo! Let’s get us some pick-a-nick baskets!”

Yogi Bear sayings tend to upset the Black Bears in Jasper National Park.   The head black bear of the Western Alberta Division of the Canadian Black Bear Association has put out the following statement on the Yogi Bear topic:

  • “Rrrrr rrrroar grumble grumble rrrrroar, eh?”

I agree.  The black bears of Jasper National Park are clearly Canadian whereas Yogi Bear was a fictitious American bear.  The black bears of Jasper have listened to tourists yell out Yogi Bear quotes since the 1960s and are simply frustrated and tired of it.

I’m personally fearful that the bears who read this article will come after me just for mentioning Yogi Bear.

“Where’s Goldilocks?”

In the same spirit as talking about Yogi Bear, saying anything about “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears” is frowned upon by the Canadian Black Bear Association. In fact, mentioning porridge or “the Papa Bear, the Mama Bear, and the little Baby Bear” has caused several wiseguys to be immediately eaten by bears.

The moral of the story: Talking to black bears should avoided. Say the wrong thing and you may be eaten.

You have been warned.

While I am pulling your leg, it is better me than a bear! Read the real truth about avoiding bear attacks in Jasper National Park.

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