Bear/Human Conflicts in British Columbia: Learning from the Attack Experience
Merriman, John D.
Grizzly bear attacks on people in British Columbia are rare, but they seem to have increased in number during the mid-1990s. This paper examines the personal perspectives of ten people who endured a grizzly bear attack. The analysis of attack circumstances was based on information from personal interviews or questionnaires mailed to subjects of bear attacks. Other information was obtained with government approval, from files released by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. In order to ensure confidentiality of names, only initials of the people involved in bear attacks were used and cited in this report. Grizzly bear behaviour and grizzly bear/human interactions in the context of a bear attack, are examined in this paper. While circumstances of the ten bear attack interviews formed the basis for the paper, bear management and bear/human conflict literature was reviewed to support the analysis. The focal point of the paper is 'learning from the attack experience' of others, so that outdoors users may be able to avoid sudden bear encounters and to deal effectively with bear attacks.