Traces in the snow have proven: A brown bear was recently on the move in the south of Bavaria. The Bavarian State Office for the Environment confirmed that footprints could be used to prove that such a bear roamed around in the border area between Germany and Austria, in the Miesbach district and in the Rosenheim district. Exactly what kind of animal it is and where it is now is unclear.

Encounters between bears and humans are rare in our latitudes – but they can end tragically, as in the case of the deadly attack of a female bear on a jogger in northern Italy: At the beginning of April, a 26-year-old man was attacked by the female bear in the Trentino municipality of Caldes and was killed. As it became known on Wednesday, the animal has now been caught.

After the detection of a bear in Bavaria, the State Office for the Environment drew attention to the rules of conduct that people should observe if they should encounter such a large predator in the wild.

In general, it is quite unlikely to meet a bear at all, according to the authority. Because where people are active during the day, bears roam around, especially at night. The animals also usually avoid people, according to the authority’s website.

However, bears are curious and very clever: If they learn that there is delicious food near people, they can also come to settlements. Therefore, it is important never to feed bears. Another piece of advice is not to leave rubbish and leftover food lying around.

If you do encounter such an animal in the wild, it is important to keep your distance and remain as calm as possible. You should neither run away nor approach the animal or even pursue it. “Stop and get the bear’s attention by speaking calmly and moving your arms slowly,” said the wildlife experts at the State Office.

Under no circumstances should you try to scare the animal away or throw things at it. The bear may feel threatened and defend itself. Then you should try to retreat slowly and in a controlled manner while keeping an eye on the animal. It is important that the bear has a way to avoid it. If the animals felt threatened, they could use mock attacks to gain respect.

Attacks by bears on humans are extremely rare, write the animal experts. In the event of an attack, they have the following tip: lie flat on the floor on your stomach or crouch on the floor. The hands should be placed behind the neck. “If you have one, your backpack protects your back,” it continues. As a rule, the bear will let go of the human or just sniff at it. “Stay where you are and wait for the bear to move far enough away.”

Most people would panic if they encountered a bear. The authority hopes that the behavior tips can alleviate the fear somewhat, so that the encounter ends lightly.

Source: Bavarian State Office for the Environment