Information about bears is often contradictory and confusing, leading to misconceptions about how bears will behave when they encounter humans. Realistically, the chance of a bear attacking and killing you is infinitesimal. While hunters kill around 30,000 black bears in North America each year, black bears only cause an average of one or two human fatalities annually. You are statistically more likely to be killed by your family pet than a wild bear.
To keep safe in bear country, you have to be able to separate fact and myth. Here are some of the most common fallacies about bears:
1. Bears have a great sense of smell, but terrible eyesight.
Bears can see just fine, and are drawn to movement. If you are within 150 metres of a bear that's facing your direction, it probably knows you're there. Bears don't always visibly react to what they see, which leads some people to mistakenly assume a bear hasn't noticed them.
2. That bear is looking at me and yawning, so I'm in no danger.