Just Right

Learning why your bear would eat someone.

Photo: Rocklin Lyons

A recent news item from my hometown: “DEC Monitors Kirkwood for Bear with Stuck Jug [on its Head].” Not too long ago, I was that bear. I felt for him. It may be that we’ll see more of these little tragedies as bear populations increase and come into more frequent contact with people and their garbage. After all, black bear population density is increasing alongside humans. The Ithaca Journal reported that it has grown to one bear per every three square miles along the Southern Tier of New York State.

Even with all of this cohabitation, bears are patient with us — attacks on humans are rare, but not nonexistent. I need to know about the ones who attack.

This is the kind of research all writers should do: making your fictional bears more realistic.

If a Bear Shows Up in the First Act, He Better Eat Someone in the Second