The grizzly bear is generally not the type of animal that we are going to see in animal attacks. This is due to the small amount of regions that the bear inhabits, and the fact that they do not come into contact with people very often. For example, the huge bears that inhabit Alaska rarely ever even see a human being, much less attack one. Still, the grizzly bear is an animal that attacks people, kills them, and occasionally consumes them. How do these attacks happen, and more importantly, why?
The grizzly bear generally is a very reclusive animal. It would usually be quite happy to never encounter a human being, and the rare instances where a grizzly bear actually pursues a human is the exception rather than the rule. Grizzly bear animal attacks are usually cases of the bear feeling threatened in some way or surprised. For example, if you are walking over the top of a hill and a grizzly is right there, this is a situation where a grizzly bear attack could happen. Another risk factor is if the grizzly has her cubs with her. This is a very dangerous situation as a grizzly guards her cubs ferociously.
As unusual as the grizzly bear attack is, there is the occasional attack where the bear is simply hungry and sees you as a source of food. Their are documented cases of grizzly bears actually pursuing and eating human beings. This predatory behavior is still being studied, but it is very much a real possibility in the wrong set of circumstances. A grizzly bear is a wild animal, and as such, will do what it must to survive. If this means eating things that they normally would not, so be it. They are survivors, just like us.
If you live in grizzly bear country, it is very important that you always be mindful of the potential grizzly bear encounter. Know that they are only doing what comes natural to them, and they are not evil. Animals are doing what is programmed into their nature. Grizzly bears are very aware of the scents in the area. If you wear heavily scented perfumes or colognes, or if you keep your campsite messy and full of food, then the chances of a grizzly bear encounter increases exponentially. They will smell it, and they will investigate it. The last thing you need is a grizzly bear sniffing around your campsite.
While the grizzly bear is not naturally a predator of human beings, we must be mindful of the risk. The grizzly bear will attack us under the right circumstances, and as long as we continue to eradicate the grizzly bear’s natural habitat, those attacks will only increase. In the meantime, we need to give the grizzly bear as much space as humanly possible, and never approach one in the wild. The grizzly is simply too powerful for us and we can not outrun it either. That said, avoiding a grizzly is the best defense.