[cdt-l] Bear Spray

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Mon Apr 2 14:46:15 CDT 2007

I know you're talking about "what one's brain will instinctively do", but I
just wanted to note that playing possum isn't always the best defense
against a bear attack. It often is, but it really depends on the situation.
Sometimes, such an approach can lead the bear to feeding behavior.


-----Original Message-----

What will most likely happen if you are attacked by a large aggressive
animal is your brain will automatically instruct your body to "play
opossum." We have all heard this term but what does it really mean? An
opossum is not the smartest critter in the woods. They are not
sophisticated enough to stage dramatics. What actually happens is
this: An opossum sees a fox coming and panics. He becomes so scared
the blood runs from his head, he faints and poops on himself. The fox
is no longer interested in this lifeless, smelly corpse and moves on.
The opossum comes to and can't believe he's still alive

Whistling, singing and poetry are your best defense when hiking. It
has been fairly well-proven that "bear bells" are not effective.
Biologists have rigged bells along game trails, and bears have not
even shown a reaction to the sound. One theory is that bears register
the sound as natural-perhaps a birdsong. You can always drop into the
fatal (I mean fetal) position and do what the opossum does. --Keep

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