This is not the first time I have seen bears during this trip. Certainly it won’t be the last time. I was lucky that so far I have only seen them when I was in the car.
The first two times I saw them a few days ago, they fled away before I could even pick up my camera. Today I was luckier. Although the first one walked away before I could catch any shot, the second one, a Black Bear, stood by the side of the road, eating grasses and flowers! He was a “vegetarian”! 🙂
Actually, believe or not, Black Bears eat more grass, leaves, flowers and nuts than meat. You can call them “semi-vegetarian”. 🙂 Unlike Grizzly, Black Bears rarely attack people. Of course, even so, I wouldn’t want to meet them in the wilderness without my car by my side. I just have no interest of testing whether the one I meet is on veggie diet at the time or not. 🙂
It is funny that I just heard an interview on PBS. The author of “Bears without Fear” was talking about our fear of bear actually made it so unsafe for bear. He joked about that it is not us should fear bear in the wilderness; rather, it is the bear should fear about us. He said that nowadays, with all the technology, it is easier to be a human in a bear’s world than a bear in a human’s world. Co-existence with bear and without fear of the animal is the idea he wanted to convey in his book.
I was so interested in his topic that I actually stopped driving and had a little snack break so that I could hear him clearly. I understood where his idea was coming from. As a biologist and someone who had a close encounter of a Grizzly Bear without any harm done to him (there was a mother bear with two cubs within 10 feet, yet the mother bear turned away without him doing anything), it is easy to see why he is so confident and fearless of bear.
However, then, I was flabbergasted to learn that his sister was killed by a bear, 20 or 30 years ago! “If she had bear-spray, the result would be very different.” Well, this sounded like a very good assurance for me to carry the bear-spray. Yet, if any beast had done some serious damage to my sister, no matter how understanding and how loving a person I am, and no matter how long ago the incidence happened, I wouldn’t “forgive” the beast by writing a book protecting its right or doing anything in its favor! How strange that out of all people, he would be the one writing such a book!
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html