Mudcat Café message #734877 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36408   Message #734877
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
22-Jun-02 - 06:10 PM
Thread Name: BS: Bear Encounters Part Two
Subject: RE: BS: Bear Encounters Part Two
The bears in the Smokey Mountains National Park recognize the ranger uniforms and hats and patrol vehicles. Despite how dangerous it is to get out and feed the bears, tourists do it all of the time. And then have the affrontery to get pissed off when a ranger drives by--because when the bears see rangers, they run away.

Like Rangeroger I've also shared a clearing (in the Cascades of Washington) with a blueberry eating black bear. Neither of us wanted to give up our patch, and we didn't crowd each other. I've seen them use their paws like rakes, and by running the paw along the branch pull the leaves and berries off and straight into the mouth.

The bear scat I've seen has been in campgrounds when blueberries weren't on the diet. It's usually glossy black, stringy, and the size of charcoal briquettes. A major part of their diet in the North Cascades is salal, a small evergreen understory shrub, in the rhododendron family. Once in the campground, they seem to favor fruit in the trash, in particular they LOVE canteloupe. I'd find the rinds (they don't eat the green part, just like us) with the scoring from those little top from teeth where they scrape out all of the ripe fruit people leave behind. We had a bear trap set up with salmon for bait at Colonial Creek Campground (in the Ross Lake NRA in the North Cascades of Washington). It wasn't working, and I suggested adding the canteloupe, and it worked straight off. Too bad, acutally, because the trap was a prototype and the bear was injured when he turned and attacked the rebar grate that closed behind him. After that they made it solid, because he broke his teeth off attacking the rebar. Sad, sad to see.