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Ask A Bear: Run Away From A Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'
ask a bearask a bear
 

 Q: It is true that as long as I’m not the slowest runner in the group I’ll escape your attack unscathed?—Ron B., via email

A: I feel bad for your friends, Ron—do they know you’d ditch them in a second just to escape little ol’ me? 

They might take some small comfort from the fact that your superior sprinting abilities might not do anything to keep me away. I may look fat and fuzzy, and my famous lumbering gait might seem slow, but I can almost always run faster than you if I want to. Running from me at full clip is generally a bad idea: If I’m not on the attack already, it might trigger a response.

Also, just ’cause you’re faster doesn’t mean I’ll let you go. If I perceive both you and your unlucky friend as threats, I could very well attack both of you, and it’s well within my power to run both of you down. 

Don’t believe me? My fastest reported speeds are around 40 mph; the current fastest human on Earth, Usain Bolt, runs a comparatively pokey 27 mph. 

But hey—I’m not a big fan of running you down and chomping on you. Just alert me to your presence with loud noises, and I’ll probably amble away before you even see me.

—BEAR

Got a question for the bear? Send it to askabear@backpacker.com.

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