Learn about living with bears; creating bear smart communities; recreating in bear country; bear safety at work; and managing bears (for wildlife officials).

Bearsmart Blog

How Dangerous Are Bears?

Most interactions between bears involve considerable tolerance and restraint. They usually display the same tolerance towards people. Bears prefer to avoid people whenever they can. In fact, most people never know they are close to a bear before it vanishes into the forest. Each year countless interactions occur between people and bears without harm. But on rare occasions a meeting between a bear and human results in human injury or even death.

However, the odds of being struck by lightning or killed by a bee sting are many times greater than being attacked and killed by a bear.

In the USA you are:

  • 67 times more likely to be killed by a domestic dog
  • 17 times more likely to be killed by a spider
  • 150 more likely to be killed from a tornado
  • 180 times more likely to be killed from a bee and wasp sting
  • 374 times more likely to be killed by lightning
  • and tens thousands of times more likely to be killed by a fellow human being

According to Dr. Lynn Rogers, it is far more likely that you would be killed due to a vehicle accident on the way to the wilderness than by a bear.

Share This: