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Rules of conduct for bear contact

Here you will find some useful tips on what to do in case of contact with a bear or a bear sighting in Trentino

Bears usually avoid contact with humans because they perceive them as a danger. However, if you are visiting an area where they are native, it is important to know what to do in case of an encounter.

Good to know:

  • Bears do not consider humans as potential prey, but fear them and keep distance.
  • Bears only attack when surprised or provoked.
  • Female bears with cubs have a strong protective instinct.
  • To avoid an encounter with a bear, it is important to make yourself noticed (clapping, singing, whistling, etc.) and stay on the path.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. Otherwise there is a risk that he will approach, disturb or attack a bear and, if he comes back to you, will bring him to you.
  • If you see a bear, do not disturb or approach.
  • Never feed a bear, even if it seems calm.
  • Stay away from a bear that is eating.
  • Do not approach or enter a bear den.
  • Do not leave food debris behind in the forest.

Rules of conduct:

  • The most important thing in an encounter with a bear is to remain calm.

  • If you see a bear in the distance, go back the way you came so that the bear has room to continue on its way. Important: do not run away!

  • It is possible that the bear will stand on its hind legs or approach without seeing you, as bears do not have very good eyesight and may not notice the presence of humans. In this case, signal your presence by speaking softly so that the bear can sense you without perceiving you as a danger. The bear will probably retreat immediately.

  • If you get close to a bear (even if it is a mother with cubs), stop, stay calm and back away slowly, without sudden movements and without screaming.

  • Do not throw stones or other objects towards the bear.

  • If the bear attacks you, do not react, stay calm or lie down slowly with your face down. The bear will probably stay close to you without physical contact.

  • It is difficult to know if it is a fake attack or not. Playing dead before the contact gives the bear the feeling that you are not a danger. Lie on the ground, interlock your fingers at the back of your neck and shield your head with your arms. Try to remain still until the bear stops the attack and moves away. Do not run, shout or try to hit the animal. If you are wearing a backpack, it can be useful to protect yourself.

  • Bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 50 km/h. So don't try to escape a bear by climbing a tree or running away unless you can get to a safe place (e.g. your car) within a short distance.

  • In the Autonomous Province of Trento, a 24-hour telephone number has been in operation for many years, through which the presence of bears can be reported in order to obtain information and help or to report emergencies related to large carnivores. The number is also linked to the general emergency number 112.

Emergency number for large carnivores: +39 335 7705966 (active 24h)

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