Kodiak Island is home to the biggest and baddest of the brown bears. Isolated for more than 12,000 years, Kodiak bears have thrived on protein-rich fish resources and evolved into the world’s largest meat-eating land mammal. And while encounters are relatively common, attacks are thankfully rare.
If a brown bear does charge, it will probably be very fast and explosive. Here’s what you should do:
1.) Stay Calm. Never run or scream. There’s no way you’ll outrun a charging brown bear, which have been clocked at 35 mph.
2.) Climb a tree only if you have time. In most cases people who’ve tried didn’t have enough time, and were dragged out of the tree they were attempting to climb. Stand your ground initially and see what the bear is going to do. If you’re in a group of four or more people, stay together in mass to look larger.
3.) There’s some evidence that you shouldn’t look a bear directly in the eye, but look down and to the side, acting submissive while keeping the bear in your vision.
4.) Never take your pack off. If you’re forced to drop to the ground, you’ll want your pack on your back for protection.
5.) If a bear attacks, drop down and lay flat on the ground, with your hands locked on the back of your neck.
6.) Pepper spray or a firearm should be used only as a last resort, but before dropping to the ground. In most cases the sound of the first shot from a canister or bear spray has stopped or slowed a charging bear.