So, country living just got a whole lot more country. Yesterday we had a bear on our property!! It was more than just ‘on our property’ really. Our cottage has a walk out basement on the lake side with a wrap around porch leading up to the main entrance and it actually snuck up on us from under the porch. We had just come outside to unload the truck from the night before and I was carrying back some bags to the cottage when I thought I saw Monkey playing under the deck. I yelled to him to get out from under there when suddenly I realized he had huge ears!!
I have to admit I immediately panicked. Aside from it being underneath the deck, which at least put the stairs in between him and us, the bear was only a few feet away from Monkey and I was 15 feet away from them! I immediately yelled for Monkey to run straight up the stairs and into the cottage and for once in his life he actually listened to me on the first request, I’m sure he could hear the fear in my voice. Meanwhile I scrambled to find LoveBug and scan for any other bears. Of course LoveBug was the complete other direction heading farther away, so I ran over and scooped him up and ran inside. The baby, thankfully, was inside napping in her crib.
Once we were all inside I realized I was physically shaking. I have actually never been so afraid in my life. We went to the various windows in the cottage until Monkey spotted the bear out the far side heading over to the neighbours property (no one is ever there). Turns out he was a baby, but that means the mother wasn’t too far, and that’s a bear you DON’T want to mess with!
It would be one thing if it had been just me out there. I would have yelled to scare it away and ran inside, not so big of a deal. But with all the kids?! And we were so spread out and I couldn’t even see LoveBug! That’s more people than I can easily save if something had gone wrong. That is something that weighs on my mind a lot since having BabyGirl. I now have more children than arms and a lot of people to protect should some kind of freak accident happen, especially when Daddy isn’t around. What would I do? How would I protect or save all three kids from the likes of a bear? In a car accident? In some kind of natural disaster? I don’t have the answer to any of these, but I hope that some kind of Mommy super-gene kicks in and gives you the sense and ability to just do it.
I went searching on the Internet for what to do when you encounter a bear and found the following advice. I particularly like the third point because ya know, I was just going to leave my kids outside.
If you spot a black bear:
• Stay calm. Often the bear is simply passing through
• Do not run away. Walk towards a building or vehicle and get inside
• If you have children and pets, bring them inside too
• Once indoors, observe the bear. Did it move on or did it stay on your property? If the bear stayed, what was it doing or eating?
• Encourage the bear to leave. Bang pots and pans, or blow an air horn or whistle. The more stressful a bear’s encounter with you, the less likely it is to come back
• If the bear got food (like garbage or bird food), or if the bear tried to get food, you will need to remove or control the item that attracted the bear
• Once the bear leaves, remove the attractant and assess your property for other possible attractants like garbage; dirty barbecue; bird or pet food or fruit or berries from your trees or bushes
• If you have done everything you can to remove attractants, and the bear persists, call 1-866-514-2327
• If a bear is damaging your property, breaking into your home or threatening your personal safety or that of others, call 911 or your local police
• Alert your neighbours about bear activity, and work together to keep your neighbourhood free from items that attract bears
A bear was something I really hadn’t even considered. When we go outside I’ve just been letting the kids run around the property wherever they want as long is they are within eye and ear shot. Now I’m all paranoid and I’m not sure what to do exactly. We can’t live in fear, but I have to say I’m glad today was a rainy, miserable day so we had an excuse to stay indoors.
Anyone have any tips for dealing with bears?