How not to rescue a bear

Published: May 6, 2014 · Updated: September 6, 2017

Despite their formidable climbing skills, black bears can sometimes find themselves stranded up a tree.

When this happens, as it did to a bear in Florida, wildlife officials must step in and mount a rescue for the distressed animal.

Sadly, this particular rescue plan had a fatal flaw—the flimsy tarp they used as a safety net proved too weak to catch the sedated animal as it fell out of the tree.

Fortunately, the bear was apparently unharmed by the fall, and was successfully relocated.

Thankfully in Canada, we have no shortage of passionate, educated bear professionals to handle situations like this in a humane fashion.

Websites such as Bear with Us offer interesting facts about bears, such as their rare rate of aggression against humans:

“The 500,000 black bears in North America kill fewer than one person per three years, on the average, despite hundreds of thousands of encounters. To put this in perspective, for each death from a black bear across North America, there are approximately 17 deaths from spiders, 25 deaths from snakes, 67 deaths from dogs, 150 deaths from tornadoes, 180 deaths from bees and wasps, 374 deaths from lightning, and 90,000 homicides in the United States alone.”

If you encounter a bear in distress report it to the Ontario Bear Reporting Line: 1-866-514-2327 (TTY) 705-945-7641 and visit government website Bearwise for more information.