The Three Bears Do the Adirondacks
Not a Golden Book Story
According to the resident biologist and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Wildlife Biologist, three bears in the Blue Mountain Lake region of the Adirondacks have exhibited unusual behavior for black bears.
According to Ed, a female hiker on the Northville-Placid Trail was followed by three medium-size bears. They were not Pappa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby, but probably Momma Bear and two Baby Bears. Despite the hiker’s appropriate attempts to scare the bears away and dissuade them from following her, the bears were unfazed and persisted in tagging along for her hike. When one of the bears approached to within a few feet, the hiker felt threatened and stabbed the bear in the head or neck with her pocket knife. The bears took off and so did the hiker, fortunately in opposite directions. She ran 3 miles to a DEC campground and arrived exhausted but unhurt.
Black bears are normally afraid of people according to Ed. But if they are habituated to human food, they equate people with food, and black bears live to eat. This still doesn’t completely explain the unusual behavior of these three bears, and Ed says it is a mystery they are trying to solve.
People should be aware these three, unusually aggressive bears are still at large if hiking in the area around the Northville-Placid Trail. If you encounter a bear, make noise, wave your arms, try to look big, (the resident biologist actually said this to me – I’m 5″2), make sure the bear knows you are human, and back away slowly. Do not try to outrun a bear. You can’t.
I spend a great deal of time in the woods and will certainly be watching my back. Please do the same.