At this time of year, bears are starting to settle down for the winter. They’ll be settled down for the next few months, and during that time, will have cubs. Cubs will be looked after by their mother and once the weather warms and normal life starts up again, they’ll learn how to survive in the wild.
Bear cubs face threats in the wild as they grow up. But the biggest threat to bears overall, both young and old, is humans.
Habituation to human food is a perfect example of how we interfere with a bear’s survival. When camping or visiting a national park, it’s important not to feed the bears or interact with them. Human food can cause changes in the bear’s behavior and make them more aggressive.
Not only that, but when they become dependent on our food, they lose that natural instinct to find food for themselves. They may travel further for human food, become more nocturnal, and have a very hard time surviving in the wild on their own.
Check out our article on Recreation in Bear Country to learn more about how we affect bears, and how to behave around them to increase their chances of survival. Read it here (page 16).