Even though bear attacks on humans are extremely rare, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a few tips for people hoping to avoid a dangerous situation. A 72-year-old McGregor woman is recovering at home from an attack that happened Monday evening.
Dan Stark, a large carnivore specialist for DNR, joined MPR's Cathy Wurzer to provide some advice for people living in or hiking in bear country:
• Avoid bears in the first place. Take some general precautions, but the most recent incident isn't anything to be alarmed about because it's so rare.
• Rid your yard of any bear attractants, such as bird seed, garbage or pet food.
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• If you encounter a bear in your yard or on a hiking trail, remain calm. Maintain your composure and try to move away slowly. Face a bear without making eye contact. Clap, make loud noises (yelling, air horn, pots and pans). Make sure the bear knows you are there so you don't surprise it.
• Never corner a bear. Always make sure it has a way to escape.
• If you're hiking, pepper spray can be carried in case of an encounter.
• If you are attacked, fight back. Kick, punch, use sticks.