In a study published on Monday, biologists from Brigham Young University found that firearms are not an effective means of preventing injury or death during a bear attack. Dr. Tom Smith led a team that analyzed 269 incidents in Alaska involving conflicts between humans and bears. The researches found no statistical difference in the rate of injury or death between those who used a firearm during a charge and those who were unarmed. Dr. Smith concluded that prevention is the best way to avoid deadly encounters with bears. “We’re seeing more and more people in bear country with guns,” Smith said. “Yet guns, for most people, are not their best option. You don’t even need a gun if you behave appropriately.” In a 2008 study of 176 bear encounters when the human carried bear spray, there were no deaths and only three injuries.
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