Who invited the black bear? It was on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, as Silvia Macías and her 15-year-old son, Santiago, celebrated his birthday with a picnic on the outskirts of Mexico City, that an unwelcomed visitor wanted to join in, or at least enjoy their food.
Credit: CBS News
Nestled in the tranquil surroundings of Chipinque Park, a black bear boldly ascended onto the picnic table and began tucking into their salsa, tacos, enchiladas and French fries, with mother and son only inches away.
While many would scream and run – a big ‘no-no’ during bear encounters – Silvia Macías remained remarkably composed and resolute. Her maternal instincts kicked in as she shielded Santiago from the bear and watched as it devoured their food. At one point, the bear even sniffed the son, but again, the resilient mother, who had blocked her son’s vision, remained motionless. Seconds must have felt like minutes.
Bear Finishes the Picnic
After an excruciating minute, during which the bear finishes eating and get’s within inches of another family member, the majestic animal eventually gets off the table and wonders back into the woods, with it’s stomach full.
Are Black Bears Aggressive?
Contrary to what the video shows, black bears tend to be shy and will actively avoid confrontations – they’re not known for being aggressive towards humans.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary if you find yourself close to one. Similarly to any wild animal, if they feel threatened or if their cubs are in danger, they’re most likely to attack.
Additionally, sudden movements within close proximity have been known to aggravate black bears. Hence why Silvia Macías kept still and silent.
What Should I Do During an Encounter?
It’s essential to exercise caution and follow proper safety guidelines when you encounter a black bear in the wild – the same applies to all bears. This includes keeping a safe distance, making noise to alert the bear to your presence, storing food securely to avoid attracting them, and never approaching or feeding them.
If a black bear does approach you, it’s typically recommended to stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, and speak calmly to the bear. In most cases, the bear will leave the area if it doesn’t feel threatened.
Where Do Black Bears Roam?
Black bears (Ursus americanus) are primarily found in North America. They are the most widely distributed bear species on the continent and can be found in various parts of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Here are some regions where you can commonly find black bears:
United States: Black bears are found in a majority of states in the U.S. They are most populous in states with extensive forested regions, including Alaska, the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon), the Rocky Mountains (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado), the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine), and the Appalachian region.
Canada: Black bears are found in nearly every province and territory of Canada. They are particularly abundant in forested areas.
Mexico: In Mexico, black bears are found in mountainous and forested regions, especially in the northern part of the country.
Black bears are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats, including forests, swamps, and even some suburban areas. Their range can vary depending on food availability, climate, and human activity. It’s important to note that while black bears are widespread, their populations can face conservation challenges due to habitat loss and human interactions. As such, it’s crucial to be informed about bear safety and conservation efforts when living in or visiting bear country.
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