Video: How a Bear Release Can Go Horribly Wrong

   09.24.15

You wouldn’t think that a bear release would draw a crowd of spectators, but in some cases it does. Capturing and releasing bears is a time-consuming process and not one that wildlife officers ever want to repeat—at least, not with the same bear. At release time, some agencies will have noisemakers and dogsĀ on-hand to give the animal one last scare. The objective here is to make its last encounter with humans as negativeĀ as possible. Hopefully, that will reinforce the animal’s natural fear of humans and make it less bold in the future. Karelian bear dogs, which are highly specialized in hunting bears and dominating the animals with its loud bark, are a popular choice for this.

Unfortunately, sometimes even a few days in a bear trap is not enough to calm the critter down. This can be especially true of sows that are captured along with their cubs. Stressed, agitated, and overprotective of their young, these bears may react badly during their release.

Especially if you happen to be snapping pictures in the path of the oncoming bear family. If this sow was a few more pounds heavier, this could’ve have been a deadly situation.

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