Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today’s guest is Joanne from Bear Aware in Nelson.
We met in Lakeside Park in Nelson and talked about bears.
We don’t have them in New Zealand so I’m quite interested in bears and I thought it might be good to know what to do if I happened to see a bear in Canada … so I asked her a lot of questions about bears.
Seeing a bear is not necessarily a dangerous thing – we live in bear country.
Unfortunately, as you can hear, it got really windy during the interview. It was so bizarre it was perfect weather right up until we started. And then it started to get windy – so we can’t use the second part of the interview. But anyway, the first part’s fine.
So listen carefully if you’re planning to come to Canada. You never know, you might see a bear, so this information could be useful.
Kia Ora, in Stick News today, good news for YouTube fans in Thailand – the Thai government has unblocked the website.
On the 4th of April, the Thai government blocked access to YouTube.
They had asked Google to remove videos which they thought were offensive to Thailand’s king. But Google turned down Thailand’s request.
Now, four months later the ban has been lifted.
The New York Times reported Google had agreed to block any future clips that are deemed offensive to Thai culture or that violate Thai law.
And that was Stick News for Monday the 3rd September.
conversations with sarah
#301 What should you do when you’re hiking to avoid bears?
Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Joanne.
Sarah What should you do when you’re hiking to avoid bears?
Joanne OK, because this is bear country, ah, and, and people who are hiking are choosing to play in bear country, then they should come prepared to perhaps meet a bear.
And all bear human encounters are not bad encounters. Most of the time: person meets bear, bear takes off, person goes: “That was a bear”. That’s the usual encounter.
Um, so when you go hiking in bear country, you come prepared to make noise. Most bears don’t want to encounter people. So they will just quietly slip away if they know people are coming. So singing, talking loudly.
Um, some people say bear bells. I don’t know if those work, but making noise should work. Carrying bear spray, because … that’s purely defensive … but if you do surprise a bear, then you can use bear spray within about four meters. And it will pu- … it’s, it’s compressurized cayenne pepper. So it will burn the bear’s eyes, but it won’t permanently hurt the bear.
And then, um, that’s how, that’s how I would go hiking. And keeping children within a safe distance of you and let … educating them too. Don’t chase the bear. Bears aren’t to be petted. Really young children like to pet bears. It’s not a good idea. And, um, some children will chase bears on bicycles. It’s not, it’s not a good idea. And not to feed the bear. Some children will feed the bear. Well the bear will maybe accept the food but has … may react to a child as if it’s another bear and react much more roughly than a, than a human child can handle. So …
So, educating your children, and if you take a dog, keep the dog on the leash. (?) have a dog that is so well trained it will come. Because, what happens is, the dog chases the bear. The bear may run away, may go up a tree. But, it may also just turn around and have had it. Had a bad day and will chase your dog. And who does your dog run to for protection? You, right. So you may be faced with your dog running towards you being followed by a big bear.
So you get out the bear spray and you yell: “No bear, no”. But … it’s best to prevent an encounter.
Sarah If you do see an aggressive bear, what would you do? Use the bear spray?
Joanne You have your bear spray out. And, and a bear that’s standing on its back legs is not being aggressive. It’s just looking to see what you are and to smell you. So that’s not aggression. OK, if a bear is coming towards you and you are uncomfortable, use the bear spray. But … there’s an excellent video called Staying Safe in Bear Country. People can look it up on the internet. It’s put together by bear biologists. And it talks about all the different kinds of behaviours you can encounter in a bear and which ones you should determine are aggressive. So I would really refer people to that.
But in short, get ready to get your bear spray. Back away. Slowly. Speaking calmly. So this is all to let the bear know you’re a person.
And then back away and if the bear … sometimes bears bluff charge. So they’ll run towards you to see what you’ll do and then they stop. And it’s a warning. So you stop and then you say something like: “Wo bear, wo bear.” And then you back away and you back away and then you slowly leave the area. So that’s basically …
And, and for … if you are attacked by a bear, which is so incredibly rare. Very, very rare. That’s why I would again refer you to Staying Safe in Bear Country. Because um … there are two different kinds of attacks. There’s a defensive attack where you have surprised the bear ah, and the bear’s feeling threatened. And it will attack but then leave. It’s just trying to get rid of you as a threat.
In which case, um, in which case, ah your bear spray may work, or falling down in a defensive posture may work until the bear has finished.
But if a bear is actually stalking you as food, you need to fight back.
But you need to identify the two different kinds of encounters. And that’s why you should look at Staying Safe in Bear Country.
And Bear Aware does not actually deal with bear safety in the woods. So the things I’ve said are things that I have gleaned from reading various things. So … Bear Aware deals mainly with human bear safety and conflict near homes in urban areas.
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