Despite the hateful, slanderous things Stephen Colbert says about bears, we here at Uproxx know that bears are awesome. In the past, Colbert has called bears “Godless, rampaging killing machines” and noted that he believes “all God’s creatures have a soul — except bears, Bears are actually Satan’s children.”
What do you think about that, bears?
And now the bears have some data to back that up thanks to a new study by the University of Calgary!
Reports the New York Times:
A new study that found that black bears — the most common bears in North America — have killed only 63 people in the United States and Canada over the last 109 years.
The study also found, contrary to popular perception, that the black bears most likely to kill are not mothers protecting cubs. Most attacks, 88 percent, involved a bear on the prowl, likely hunting for food. And most of those predators, 92 percent, were male.
“Mother bears, whenever they feel threatened or a person is too close, they act very aggressively,” said Stephen Herrero, the study’s lead author. “They make noise, they swat the ground with their paws and they run at people. They want to make you think that they’ll eat you alive, but they almost always stop.”
By contrast, “the kind of bear you need to be afraid of is not feeling threatened by you — it’s testing you out as a possible prey item,” said Dr. Herrero, a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary. “It’s quiet. It stalks you just like a lion might stalk you.”
See, nothing to fear about bears folks — just ask Timothy Treadwell!