New York: Our bears are smarter than your bears … and some hikers

Bear-Proof Can Is Pop-Top Picnic for a Crafty Thief

This is very cool, IMNSHO. I like that Yellow Yellow can open a canister with which some hikers struggle. I also found the possibility of some level of teaching of other bears to be fascinating. I love this stuff!

I am glad that they are not talking about harming or removing this non-aggressive bear. I hope that someone will realize that the right solution is probably to put permanent truly bear-proof steel structures at the documented camp sites in the Adirondacks. Perhaps I’ll send email to the Adirondack Council.

Thanks rit.

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2 Responses to New York: Our bears are smarter than your bears … and some hikers

  1. rit says:

    It should be noted as well, that this is the result of what is considered escalation with regards to bear countermeasures.

    Many parks (and/or hikers’ preference based on experience) has moved away from the classic bear bag. The bear bag has moved from ‘hang it 10 feet up’ to ‘hang it 10 feet up in between two trees with at least 3 feet between trees’, in the places that still allow it.

    Why do I mention the idea of escalation? Because (and as I recall the article mentions it), the damn bears have figured out that a bag that smells like food, hanging in thin air, is NOT hanging in thin air. They just need to find the rope and cut it.

    Probably not as big a problem in grizzly country, as they aren’t apt climbers, but a black bear can mount a tree pretty quickly.

    To be fair, this is only one version of the bear canister’s that is being cracked: it has a deliberately simpler opening mechanism than it’s competitors which is clearly something the bear can crack.

    Most other bear canister’s don’t use the prescription bottle style tab openers. Instead, they have several embedded screw-like pieces on the lid, which you need a quarter or a screwdriver to open.

    Of course, one has to wonder how long before the bears figure that one out (or evolve a philips head claw ;) )

  2. Good points rit. I actually love the idea of a bear filing her nails on a rock to get them the right shape for use as a Phillips head. It’s a slight modification to your idea.

    I did get a nice response to my email to the Adirondack Council essentially saying a lot of what you say. The bears mostly do not get into the canisters, except for a few bears that are able to get into these simpler ones.

    There have not been cases of screwdriver or coin wielding bears just yet. So far, it probably just makes more sense to alert people to the proper canisters for bear protection.

    However, they do not seem averse to the idea of permanent bear proof containers if this becomes more of a problem.

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