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Backpacker Magazine – Ask a Bear

Ask a Bear: Will You Climb to Get My Food?

How far will you go to get my food? If I hang my food on a thin line strung between two trees, there's no way you could climb it to get my food, right?

by: Bear

(YouTube)
(YouTube)

Dear Bear,
How far will you go to get my food? If I hang my food on a thin line strung between two trees, there’s no way you could climb it to get my food, right? — Tony C., via Facebook
 


Dear Tony C.,
If I’m conditioned to human food – or if I’m made aware of an opportunity by scents – there’s almost no lengths I won’t go to in an attempt to nab your snack stash. And your suggested technique is far from foolproof: Watch this black bear in Alberta cross a tightrope 15 feet above ground paw-over-paw to get at a bit of beaver:

 


 

You’ve heard tales about my tree-climbing ability, and my agility despite my roly-poly frame. Now you have video proof that I can put any human circus employee to shame with my athletic chops. As you can tell, when my arms get tired, I just grab the line with my teeth.
 
This time I failed to get more than bite off the outfitters’ food – but it wasn’t for lack of trying. As for those cackling Canucks? I’d love to see them try, but I bet they couldn’t hang with me.


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