This week on the Discovery Channel’s hit reality series Yukon Men, Charlie is on the hunt for a deadly black bear, which has become a bit too familiar with the populated areas of Tanana.
Black bears are, according to National Geographic, the most common bears in North America. They can be found in varying types of environments, from forests to swamps. Black bears are the type most familiar to North America residents, and, contrary to their name, can come in a range of colors, including blue-grey, blue-black, brown, cinnamon and, rarely, white.
It is extremely important not to feed bears, as they can easily develop a taste for human food and garbage, at which point they become particularly dangerous to human populations in an area. Typically, black bears eat grasses, roots, berries and insects. However, if available, they will eat fish and mammals, as well, National Geographic indicates. It is because of their opportunistic eating style that they will go for human food and garbage when available. Bears are usually solitary animals, although females stay with their cubs for about two years. Nat Geo warns:
Bears who become habituated to human food at campsites, cabins, or rural homes can become dangerous and are often killed—thus the frequent reminder: Please don't feed the bears!
Black Bears Snacking on Puppies?
Given these warnings, it is not surprising that Charlie is on the hunt this week for a black bear that has been making itself at home around Tanana. As with many wild animals, while it may be uncommon to encounter them and be attacked in their own wild territories, when they start to make themselves at home around humans, they become especially dangerous and a true threat to people living in the area. And, according to Tanana resident and dog trainer James Roberts, bears are often a threat to dogs:
I bring my rifle with me in case we run into a bear. Black bears are all around. I’ve had them steal pups from me. Black bear’ll come by and he’ll just snack on five or six at a time.
So, yes, black bears are a threat, in more ways than one.
Yukon Men airs on the Discovery Channel on Friday nights at 10/9c.
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Image: Discovery Channel
Video: Discovery Channel/Yukon Men