5 Reasons Why We Love Bears
By: Rachel Louise Moore
At Hastings Overland, we understand exactly why our customers, particularly those travelling from international destinations, hope to see a bear (or thirteen) while they are out on their overlanding adventure.
As residents of Canada, we already hold a great appreciation for these big ol’ bears, as they continually let us explore the lush, deciduous forests that they call home. The team at Hastings Overland incessantly promotes the “Leave No Trace” initiative to ensure that the land explored by our customers is left fully intact, as it houses many valuable flora and fauna.
Bears are of great cultural and spiritual significance to Canadians, which is why we wanted to share with you, the reasons why we love black bears, brown bears, grizzly bears and all-types-of-bears, with a fiery passion.
1. Bears help our forests: Simply put, bears positively impact our ecosystem in many ways. As mentioned by the BBC, when bears feast on the salmon they catch from the river, they drag the salmon inland through the forests, instead of consuming the fish carcass alongside the water. After this process, the salmon remains compost along the forest floor, releasing high amounts of nitrogen to help fertilize important plant species. By donating to organizations that support the conservation of wild salmon and the protection of bear species, you are also indirectly helping Canadian rainforests. It’s a win-win!
2. Bears keep to themselves: With outdoor recreation in the wilderness being exceedingly popular in Canada, most bears are used to coming within close proximity to humans. As long as you are making some noise while in the bears territory, it is totally possible to keep the furry creatures at a respectable distance, and avoid interfering with a mother bear and her cub. At Hastings Overland, we thoroughly review instructions regarding wildlife encounters with our customers before they embark on any camping excursion.
3. Bears are low maintenance: Unlike humans, you won’t catch a bear getting “hangry”! According to National Geographic, bears can go approximately 100 days without eating or drinking while they are in hibernation. Bears excessively overeat during the summer and fall months, in order to gain enough fat to sustain them through their hibernation. Same bears, same.
4. Bears are physical phenoms: According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, female brown bears typically weigh around 440 lbs., while male brown bears can weigh up to 770 lbs. If that heavy fact isn’t enough of a reason to keep their habitats free of litter… they also have an enormously powerful bite and can run up to 40 miles per hour.
5. Bears are smart: Last but not least, According to National Geographic, the intelligence of black bears has been significantly underestimated, as it has now been discovered that these bears display many of the same cognitive learning potentials as primates. Previous studies have shown that black bears, within captivity, understand the concept of completing tasks for food reward and may very well be capable of counting. Unfortunately, scientists are yet to determine what species of bear is able to make porridge for Goldilocks.
Photo provided by past Hastings Overland customers Fanny Hammel and Oswen Corbel