Mammoth Lakes is home to black bears. If you prepare in advance and stay alert, you can still enjoy your outdoor activities without the fear and uncertainty that comes with not knowing what to do if you encounter a bear.
How to Identify a Black Bear
Black bears aren’t always black. They may be any shade of brown or even blonde. Black bears are approximately three feet tall when they’re on all four legs. If they’re standing on their hind legs, they can reach heights of up to seven feet. A male bear can weigh up to 660 pounds, and a female can weigh up to 180 pounds. Bear cubs can weigh anywhere from 15 to 100 pounds by the time they’re a year old. Their size depends on how plentiful their food supply is. If you see a bear within this weight range, it’s more than likely a cub.
Black Bear Behaviors
Bears are always in search of food. If they find food in an unusual spot, such as a campsite, they’ll raid the area. Bears have a very good sense of smell. If something smells edible, a bear will more than likely eat it. They’ve been known to eat personal care products, such as soap and shampoo. Even a plastic wrapper or a baby’s car seat can attract a bear because each of these items carries a residual scent.
How to Prevent an Encounter with a Bear
If a bear continues to find food outside its natural habitat, it will become domesticated. That’s not a good thing. It can make the bear more dangerous, because it will become very aggressive toward humans. Don’t leave food lying around, including at the start of a trail or even in your car. If there’s anything in your car that looks or smells like food, a bear will break in and eat it. The law requires you to store your food in specialized bear-proof metal containers. Bears’ claws are sharp, but they can’t easily open these metal containers. If you don’t have any, you can find them for sale at a Mammoth outdoor store.
What to Do if You Encounter a Bear
Don’t run from a bear, even if it’s charging at you. Running will only encourage it to chase you, and a bear can easily outrun and overtake a human. Instead, stand your ground, make loud noises, and make yourself look big. Most bears are bluffing when they charge. Take an air horn with you. The noise should frighten the bear off.
The diversity of local wildlife is one of the main reasons Mammoth Lakes is so extraordinary. If you follow the advice listed above, use common sense, and remain aware of your surroundings, you can have a fantastic time when you visit Mammoth Lakes, even if you see a bear or two. If you’re getting ready to head to Mammoth Lakes, plan to stop by and see the friendly folks at ASO Mammoth. We can fit you out with all the mountain sports gear you need to enjoy your trip, and we provide a variety of services, from ski repair to the highest-quality snowboard rentals in Mammoth. For more information, call one of our helpful team members today at 760-965-3444.