Letter: Electric fence, pepper spray not enough to deter bears

August 1, 2013 

Regarding the Sierra Club hiker attacked while in his tent at 1:30 a.m. by a polar bear in Eastern Canada’s Torngat Mountains when an electric fence failed to stop the bear:

Canada Parks recommends visitors hire armed Inuit guards, but the group chose not to hire them. Quite likely because the Sierra Club seeks non-lethal means of protection in a bear attack, most notably by advocating pepper spray for bear attacks.

Although the electric fence is a step in the right direction in trying to co-exist peacefully with bears, it and pepper spray are not enough to stop a charging bear. Particularly in the wee hours when bears tend to attack people in tents (remember Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hoshino experiencing a worse fate in Kamchatka, Russia, when a bear attacked him in his tent at 4:30 a.m., dragged him out of it and killed him). 

The Inuits must be shaking their heads.

— Chris Deile

Anchorage

 

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