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Bear Expert Rates 9 Bear Attacks In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?

Decoding the Danger: A Bear Expert's Verdict on 9 Terrifying Bear Attacks in Movies and TV - How Authentic Are They?

By HalintonePublished 9 months ago 15 min read

Bear Expert Rates 9 Bear Attacks In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?

With remarkable agility, it swiftly descends from the majestic heights of the towering tree, its every movement a testament to the awe-inspiring speed that defies the realms of Hollywood fiction. These extraordinary beings possess an astonishing capability, empowering them to surge forward at astonishing speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, leaving observers in sheer amazement. Brace yourself for an enthralling expedition as we embark on this intriguing exploration, peering into the enigmatic domain of bear encounters as portrayed in the realms of movies and television. Our quest is to unravel the intricacies of their authenticity, meticulously distinguishing the stark line between fact and the captivating tapestry of fiction. Prepare to immerse yourself in an adrenaline-pumping odyssey as we navigate the uncharted waters of bear attacks, delving deeper than ever before into a world teeming with suspense, intrigue, and a thirst for uncovering the truth. Get ready to be captivated like never before, for our journey promises to ignite a passionate curiosity that will leave you yearning for more, eager to unravel the secrets that lie within the astonishing realm of these magnificent creatures.

So, already in this clip,

I see the very cinematic trope

of a giant brown bear

standing up on its hind legs and roaring at a person.

Honestly, in real life, bears are very quiet.

They really don't do a lot of growling.

They don't do a lot of roaring.

But if there's a territory dispute,

two big male alpha bears

might actually stand up on their hind legs

and roar at each other and fight.

But if there's a big bear and a small person,

that bear isn't usually going to

go through all that trouble.

You saw that big swipe of the ground.

That's something that brown bears and black bears do.

In fact, I have experienced

a bear do a bluff charge on me,

and it is frightening and terrifying.

But really, they're just trying to freak you out

so that you back up and walk away

and they don't actually have to attack you.

This is great for TV, but it's not biologically accurate.

This bear, even though it looks like

it could be 1,000 pounds,

it could scale that wall no problem.

Those claws could dig into the wood,

and it could climb up all the way

and then terrorize all those people that are watching.

I'd give it a seven out of 10.

I really wish the bear had climbed up at the end.

Let me make it clear.

That is what you don't do.

Even if it looks like you might be attacked by a bear,

you never run.

It's because humans cannot outrun bears.

When humans run,

it signals to the predator that you're prey.

Like, that's what a little deer would do

or a little rabbit would do.

But when we stand still,

that's so different than what prey would do

that they get the message.

No way!

Bears, as big and burly as they are,

can also get into teeny, tiny, small spaces.

I mean, I've seen bears

squeeze themselves into anything they want.

So, again, if it wanted to hurt him, it would.

This is interesting.

So, we see that they made a ring of fire,

and that's their tactic of protecting themselves.

First, no one should ever do this in the wilderness. OK?

It will start a forest fire.

But, two, there really is something to this,

and that's that most wild animals are afraid of fire.

It's just something that they haven't experienced, right?

They can't make fire themselves.

So as much as I don't want anyone to ever use this tactic,

I believe it would be effective to keep you safe.

How are we going to lure him?


Did you see him? "Blood!"

That's not going to work. OK?

So, bears are driven by hunger.

Blood does not necessarily signal

this is something to eat, right?

A bear wants to smell something delicious.

It wants to smell honey.

It wants to smell rotting meat.

I think they're getting this from the shark thing,

like, sharks are drawn to blood.

It's not the same with bears.

So, this is actually something that we use in real life.

If we want to lure a bear to something,

maybe we set up a little trail cam

and we want to get information on the individual bear,

we'll put out what we call a scent rag.

And so it looks just like that,

like a little piece of cloth,

and we'll put some kind of scent on it.

We could literally use, like, vanilla extract.

They'll come right to that rag to see what it is.

Is it realistic that that bear

might come looking for you again

because you are still in its territory

and haven't left? Yes.

However, is it realistic

that a bear is going to attack over and over

when there's two or more people? No.

So, bear attacks happen usually

when there's just one person by themselves.

If you have two or more, it rarely happens,

which is another way that people can be safe

when they recreate in nature.

It did look real,

but the probability of something like this

actually taking place, like,

I'm going to give this a five out of 10.

The first shot we see of the bear is of its claws, right?

Those are real claws.

They did a great job modeling that.

It looks like a real animal.

And then the other thing we see is the bear sniffing, right?


Bears' sense of smell is so precise

and can go across such a long distance

that they're not going to be sniffing around for a person

when they're literally 2 feet from them.

Bears can't climb trees.

Of course they can!

This little kid just said,

"We're safe, 'cause bears can't climb trees," right?

Already I'm like, "Oh, no!"

Like, they're doomed.

Bears are the best tree climbers.

Henry, move!

Go higher!

He's kicking downward with his leg.

If you ever find yourself above a bear

on a tree, you should do that.

But climbing higher? No, no, no, no, no.

There's a phrase out there,

when it comes to bear attacks,

"If it's black, fight back;

if it's brown, lay down."

And it's important to note

that this is for bear attacks.

This is not for bear encounters.

Even if a bear is near you,

even if it's approaching you rapidly,

that's still not an attack

until it's actually physically touching you.

That is a really important difference,

because if a bear is not attacking you,

that's when you back away slowly,

you make yourself look big.

If it is attacking you, the kid did it right.

But the whole time, also try to get out of there.

Oh, s---.

Ah! It scrambled down the tree,

and that type of speed is real.

So, the bear first slowly went up to get the boy.

Of course it can do that.

But the way it practically leapt onto the second tree

and scaled it in a second,

that's really, when a bear wants something,

I mean, they can run up to 25 miles an hour.

Also, it should be said that bears don't do drugs.

It is totally hypothetical what a bear would do

if it was on tons and tons of cocaine.

But this movie is loosely based off of a true story.

But there was a bear in the '80s,

I believe it was 1985,

that was found dead

after ingesting a big amount of cocaine

that was dropped from an airplane.

But in general, overdoses can kill animals

just like they can kill people,

and that's what happened to the real cocaine beer.

The only thing that I saw in this clip

that wasn't so accurate is that they're really

not that interested in attacking people, right?

Especially black bears.

Black bears are the least predatory

of all the bear species.

They mostly have a vegetarian diet.

They love their fruit, they love their nuts.

Another thing people should know

is that bears do not eat people.

Sometimes it's happened,

like, really, really rarely,

but they do not prey on humans.

If a bear is attacking someone,

it's really because they perceive that person as a threat.

I would give it, like, a six out of 10.

I can't imagine a bear ever leaving one person

to go attack another person for drugs.

[bear groans]

[bear growling]

Oh, oh, oh! That's real.

Right behind him comes what's gotta be mama bear.

The female bear raises her cubs,

and she dedicates her life to keeping them safe.

This guy was technically just standing there.

But because he was between the bear and her cub,

she sees that as a threat, and she ran right through him.

So, we often tell people

who are recreating in the wilderness,

do not physically come between a female bear and her cub.

Even if you notice a bear cub on its own

and you do not see the mama,

get away from there immediately.

You are in danger. OK?

They lose their mind, and they just attack.

[Hugh screaming]

So, it's actually really, really accurate

the way that they showed the attack.

The way that the bear uses her teeth the most --

like, she does a little bit of paw stuff --

she uses those parts of her the most

because they're the most effective.

And, again, she's not trying to get a bite to eat, right?

If she wanted to eat him,

she would use her claws to tear him apart.

But instead, she just wants to have

those fatal bites to keep her cubs safe.

But the biggest myth that the media shows about bears

is that they're always on the attack.

In some of the national parks that have bears,

take Yellowstone National Park,

your chances of a bear attack

are something like one in 2 million.

So, truly, bears are peaceful. They're docile.

And with that said, don't bother them,

don't frustrate them, and don't trigger them,

because if you do, you might be in trouble.

[Hugh grunting]

Like, at this exact spot,

I wish the character knew to play dead.

Because this is a brown bear,

sometimes called grizzly bears,

and with that species it's really important to play dead.

'Cause if he just played dead right there,

it's more likely that she would, like,

nudge him a little bit more just to make sure

and then walk away.

But he's, like,

still making a little bit of noise,

and it's telling her, "Nope, he's still alive.

He could still be a threat."

This is giving me anxiety.

He shot her and then she just attacked more,

'cause she's like, "See, I was right.

It just tried to hurt me.

I'm just going to kill it and rip it to pieces now."

So I can understand having a weapon

and wanting to kill it and fight back for your life.

But, again, you're safer playing dead

until he can no longer hear or see the bear or her cub.

Honestly, I'd give this one a 10 out of 10.

It's, believe it or not, a CGI bear,

but they really got it right.

How did you get up there?

I don't know.

Of course pandas don't really do the splits,

but they are flexible.

All the little YouTube videos you see

of pandas in captivity

rolling around and being cute,

they really do have very flexible bodies

although they're chubby and fat.

I now see that the way to get through to you

is with this.

Oh, great.

Realistic that they would want to eat a lot of food,

but would they eat delicious Chinese pork buns?

I don't think so.

However, a lot of people don't realize that pandas,

although they're vegetarians

and some might think they're herbivores,

they're actually still carnivores.

Pandas have the gut microbiome to digest meat,

meaning they have the bacterial community in their bodies

to break down meat and synthesize it for energy.

So that means that it's possible

that ancient pandas were carnivores

and ate meat all the time,

and probably if they wanted to they still could.

So, you know, this panda is learning martial arts,

which is atypical for wild pandas,

but believe it or not, pandas can fight.

Pandas have claws and they have fangs,

long fangs that could rip through tissue really easily.

So they have the physical structure

to be very, very aggressive and violent if they want to.

I love this movie,

but I have to give it a one out of 10.

[bears roaring]

I'm always happy to see polar bears.

They're awesome.

They are not only the largest

of all eight bear species,

they are also the largest carnivore on the planet,

and they are very aggressive.

So to have a very violent interaction

between two alpha male polar bears is realistic.

They're not going to have, like,

an audience of other polar bears.

Maybe if there's a big common food source,

they would congregate together.

Other than that, they're not really cooperating like that.

The other thing that we wouldn't really see

in a polar bear-polar bear fight

is the running and slamming together.

Usually when they're fighting

they approach each other slowly,

they'll do all the bluff charges to each other,

and then they'll get up on their hind legs

and start fighting.

But they won't kind of knock each other back

and then run at each other together again.

They don't eat people, they don't eat each other,

but they're more likely to be extremely aggressive.

Polar bears are what we call obligate carnivores, right?

So that means they just want to hunt and kill and eat,

and because of that it impacts their behavior.

They often say, like,

"If it's white, goodnight."

It means that if you are in an attack with a polar bear,

it's not looking good.

As well done as the art was,

I would give it, like, a two out of 10.

Bear fight!

I think it goes without saying

that this is extremely exaggerated.

The bear was, like, slapping back,

and that was actually kind of realistic.

In fact, it doesn't take a lot of energy for them

to slap you across the face.

But punching a bear in the face

is just a really great way to irritate them

and to get them to really hurt you.

Hey, Ron, I'm riding a furry tractor!

You can't ride a bear.

It's kind of worth explaining that over the years

bears have been used in circuses

and entertainment capacity.

Don't train wild animals.

There's a lot of ethics around this.

Probably bear riding has been a thing.

But these days,

you're not really going to find it anywhere.

I would give it, again,

like, a three out of 10.

[bear growling] Oh, f---.

Oh! Ah!

That's something that every camper is worried about.

If they're camping in a place where bears could be,

bears will smell something good in your tent

and will come looking for it.

So, it looks like she just uncapped her bear spray.

Really glad to see that.

Bear spray is something that I have on me

at all times whenever I'm in the wilderness.

It can save your life.


This is where this woman went wrong.

Bear spray is completely, 100% ineffective

when you're in close proximity with the bear.

It's just going to aggravate it and make it attack you.

You use it when there's a bear in the distance.

Bear spray is pepper spray,

but it's not the same kind of pepper spray

that we use to keep ourselves safe.

It is extremely powerful,

and it shoots at a long distance.

So if you sprayed bear spray in your tent,

you would not be able to breathe.

You wouldn't be able to see.

You would be incapacitated.

You have to do it in the open,

and then you have to get yourself out of there.

So what they should have done is,

at the beginning of the clip, unzip the tent,

spray the bear spray, zip it back up,

and wait a few minutes and see what happens.

That one was intense.

It would have to have so many interactions with humans

that it learns a behavior to become a killer,

like a deliberate predator of humans.

Also, the bear-spray situation could have saved them

way before the attack actually happened.

I wish they had just deployed the bear spray the right way.

I wanted to give it, like, a nine out of 10,

'cause I was like, camping, black bear, fear,

like, that all makes sense.

But then in terms of how aggressive

and how murderous that bear was,

I want to give it, like, a four out of 10.

Oh, my God, what is that?

Kind of has the humps and lumps of a bear, ish.

We can see it has this extended kind of snout,

almost like a horse head, and then a more flat head.

Black bear will either have the extended snout

but then a proper hump for head,

or a brown bear or a grizzly bear

has more of the flattened face and a much rounder head.

It's all over the place.

One of the things that I'm also noticing is that,

looks like there's places where it's missing fur

and just has raw skin.

And believe it or not, this is actually kind of accurate,

because there are times

when bears can be very susceptible to mange,

the same mange that dogs can get.

So it's possible that a mangy bear

influenced this animal here.

OK, I'm going to give it a one out of 10.

Like, that wasn't even a real animal.

My favorite bear show

is a show that I've actually been in,

and I don't think it's fair

to really toot my own horn right here,

so I will say that my second-favorite bear show

was "Yogi Bear."

And it was mostly about this bear named Yogi

who lived in a national park

and would steal people's picnic baskets.

But it's kind of realistic, right?

Like, bears are in a lot of America's national parks,

and they love our food.

That's something that humans and bears have in common.

Thanks for watching.

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