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Polar Bear hunts Man?????????

Posted on 2004-09-19
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Is this true or not,

I say yes it hunts man, not because it wants man specifically, but rather it has been conditioned to see man as a "food source".
I say it doesnt wake up and say "I am hungry lets go hunt me some man."
In a sense it hunts man, just like a lion in Africa hunts a man down, a couger in California hunts hikers, a tiger hunts down man in India.

I believe this is the same case with polar bears.


any website clarifying this would help, thx

check this website out
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/7.shtml
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Question by:kengi2
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29 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:kengi2
ID: 12094768
I believe the BBC statement is wrong.

thx ken
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Expert Comment

by:Talmash
ID: 12095062
hi ,

such animals has 2 basic rules :

1st rule : I can hunt what is weaker then me (and not important to me - such as a little bear ) and some animals think a man is weaker then them (size , movments , voices , colors etc...)

2nd rule : I should hunt what is tasty (after once hunted succesfully)

an animal usually not knowing a man's taste , so an animal will hunt a man upon 1st rule (only weakness will be considered - in some rare conditions , also starvation may be considiered - like mother bear wants to save her little bears - and maybe her starve filling makes her more aggressive , so she now can hunt even creatures she wouldn't have tried in normal days)

an animal operate upon 2nd rule only when : there are other weaker creatures to hunt , and it desides to hunt the tastier in purpose .

see the movie : "the edge" with anthony hopkins , about the Zodiak bear .

be careful ,

tal
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Accepted Solution

by:
nicholassolutions earned 672 total points
ID: 12095080
Check out these sites:
http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/PolarBears/pbbehavior.html (bottom of page)
http://www.wwf.org.uk/core/wildlife/fs_0000000044.asp (see "Diet")
http://is2.dal.ca/~thiemann/polarbear/human.html
http://yarchive.net/med/polar_bears.html
http://www.biosbcc.net/ocean/marinesci/04benthon/arcplrbr.htm

It seems to be that polar bears will attack humans if they are threatened, and perhaps sometimes as prey, but as you assumed, do not generally seek them out over their natural prey (seals), especially since they eat mostly blubber (of which humans have very little). They are obviously very dangerous, however.

Cheers ;)



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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12096091
  I used to live with them when I taught in Northern Canda. Polar bears will eat anything; garbage, dogs, cats and humans. Just ask the people of Churchill, Canada, bears have taken humans on a number of occasional both in the town site (usually drunks at 1am after the bars close) and the surrounding area. Tying you dog outside if you live on the edge of town will result in a just a leash by morning.   Fat mammals are their prefered meals: seals(espeiallly), beluga and walrus.

   Don't believe the bleeding hard liberal eco types who have the romantic notion of this mighty majestic hunter on the pack ice hunting seals. If it thinks you are not a threat a large male will hunt you down and have you for a snack in half a second. (ps I am a liberal but not a bleeding heart eco type).  We are not a prefered meal as basically there is not enough fat on us and they would rather take a seal any day, but they still see us as food.

   I also think is behavioural differnce in individual bears some probable not caring for human flesh and others with a taste for it. We are any easy target and are probably more of a mark for the sick and inexperienced bears.  
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12096122
ps Churchill is used by the BBC and others for Polar bear nature programs. I laugh when I see shots of majestic bears on the barren isolated ice of the north. Often if they panned the cameras around a bit there would probable be a few locals with cans of beer siiting on a mound watching the film, the incinerator tower in the distance,a few rusty abandoned cars and a few bill boards visible on the main road for a bar or hotel.
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Assisted Solution

by:Xxavier
Xxavier earned 664 total points
ID: 12096198
...too be fair when they head out to the pack ice in the fall they do revert to a slighly more majestic life style in that the human sources of food are not there. But scavaging and stealing are still an important part of their hunting methods. They also still prefer to be out on the ice than be around human food sources (ie humans and food created by their activities)  but if you are out on the ice you are fair game if they think you are not a threat. This is different to brown and black bears who will abandon the forest life for human food sources.  Humans being taken by Polar bears is unusual as in general we have the means and smarts to avoid attack, also bears are not stupid as they can often tell if we are a threat.

(ps a large male polar bear is unbelievable HUGE)
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Expert Comment

by:g_2000
ID: 12105111
Hi,
The Polar bear must to protect their life. As man hunt bear, bear hunts man,see the population of the creatures living in this planet must survive....
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Assisted Solution

by:dhsindy
dhsindy earned 664 total points
ID: 12107436
From (near the bottom):

http://www.juneauchamber.org/juneau_guide/qa.shtml

=====
Quote:

Q: How can I tell which bear is which?

A: If you're up a tree and the bear climbs up to eat you, it's a black bear. If it

knocks you out of the tree or tears the tree down to eat you, it's a brown bear. If

there are no trees and it's eating other bears - you are dessert - it's a polar bear.

Other distinctive characteristics are the brown bear's hump, dish face and long,

straight claws. Black bears have a Roman nose and curved claws.

Q: What should I do if I see a bear?

A: Freeze. Don't run. Back away slowly and pray.
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12109170
...if a black bear has been tracking you then it wants to eat you, walking away will not do it and playing dead results in being dead.  Make sure you have sticks and stones ready to give it heck when it comes for you. Fortunately this is not common. If its a grizzly or a polar you are screwed and completely at their mercy, the "back away slowly and pray" stratergy is the way to go and don't make direct eye contact,  unless you have a high powered rifle.

  Running is hopeless with all bears especially brown and black. They don't look all that fast but believe me I spooked a black bear on the shore of lake when in boat and it headed into the bush. It ran knocking small shrubs over in its path faster than I  personally have ever witnessed any animal move. The grizzly is faster than deer, horse or elk and does'nt run out of energy like lions or cheetahs do. They don't run often but there is a famous piece of footage of a grizzly running down a herd of elk, it caught up with them and dispatched one of them with complete ease. I believe only the N. American antelope is faster in N. America.

  Polars have a rather goofy way of running cause they are designed to run on ice (their feet are turned out I think) this makes them look rather non-threatening when they charge. Some times city eco-types think the thing is coming over to play like a dog might, guides have a real problem with city eco-tourists thinking this.
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12109182
..ps. all bears really stink especially their breath.
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Expert Comment

by:WaterStreet
ID: 12109202

Liked the bear stories and they were interesting too

Heard the one about the two campers who realized that a bear was approaching their tent?
One quickly puts on his shoes and ties them.
His friend says "That won't help. You can't out-run the bear."
The other replies, "I know.  All I have to do is out-run you."

If you can't bear this, forgive me.

:-)

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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12109254
....that a golden oldie but still a really good one (and probably true). :-)
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by:Xxavier
ID: 12109298
to finish my endless rambling off.

(1) Bear attacks are rare, we are more often seen as as threat or an annoyance and are usually avoided if possible.
(2) Brown and black bear hunting of humans is usually (i) by inexperienced or sick anmals, (ii) you suprise them, (iii) You  pose a close threat to them or their young.
(2) Unless you look like a threat      You + ice + polar bear = You are food
(4) Mouse kill more humans than bears
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12109304
oops,  Moose not Mouse. :o)
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Expert Comment

by:dhsindy
ID: 12110587
Here is a link -  to the Alaska Fish and Game Department:

http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/notebook/marine/polarbea.php

We all struggle for surival and bears are no different.  They are wild animals and prefer their wild habitat and natural food when possible.  Most of the stories I have heard about "man-killers" of any species involves old animals that can no longer catch their natural food.

I think the BBC link is a bit exaggerated.
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Expert Comment

by:WaterStreet
ID: 12118917
I heard that you can get away from a bear by running down-hill.
The bear's front feet are shorter than the rear, and he would either not pursue or tumble down.
Anyone know about this?
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12120023
Heard that as well, been told it does'nt work.
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Expert Comment

by:WaterStreet
ID: 12120077
Not even bearly?

:-)
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12123368
uuuugh!  :-)
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Expert Comment

by:tidda
ID: 12149271
I'd say that the case of polar bears and sharks is similar. Both see the human form as something similar to seals due to their weak eyesight which provokes them to have a go.

And heaven's sake, tigers and lions don't hunt down humans in Africa and India. How do you think Discovery, NatGeo and Animal Planet are making those documentaries !
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 12151421
As usual the BBC is right,

>>The polar bear is the largest land carnivore and has a reputation as the only animal that actively hunts humans.<<

Doesn't say whether the polar bear actively hunts humans or not, but that it has that *reputation*. If the polar bear only ate chicken and the BBC knew that but most people believed it hunted humans the statement would still be correct.

The reputation may be wrong, certainly tigers in India take humans as food, they sneak up behind them and attack. That's why the people wear masks on the back of their heads, you can't sneak up behind someone who has eyes at the back and the front.

Sharks biting swimmers is not quite the same, there have been humans available to the polar bear for a long time, surfing and recreational diving are fairly recent activities, so there has not been enough time for the species to consider man as food.

Lions would rather keep away from man, they eat mans livestock but there have always been enough men around to drive the lion off and the species has learnt this, don't forget man evolved from Africa.

Don't know about cougars, thought they were a bit small to treat man as food.
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Expert Comment

by:Xxavier
ID: 12151844
Cougars are very variable in size but definitley large, the record sized males can rival an African lioness in size eg  here is some big ones
http://www.bchunter.com/hunting-cougar.asp?strPhoto=/photos/cougar/cougar006.jpg
http://www.kettleriverguides.com/enlarged-photos/cougar.htm
http://www.stararchery.net/images/hunting/2003_cougar_250lbs.jpg
(these are no where near the record). Cougars do track and take humans (often children) and is again usually inexperienced or sick animals. They definitely see humans as a food source, more so than bears.
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by:Xxavier
ID: 12152240
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by:Xxavier
ID: 12152250
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by:Xxavier
ID: 12153553
heres a huge polar, the guy is standing (same in 1st grizzly above)
http://www.pope-young.org/images/deyoung%20edwin%20polar%20bear%20web.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:nicholassolutions
ID: 12670427
I would suggest that Xxavier gets more points than me at least -- he obviously has much more experience and firsthand knowledge.

Cheers,
Matt
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