Originally Posted by ergonyer
That has happend, once, maybe twice, ever. In the past century
there have only been like 50 attacks by black bears!! And thats including all the trash-acostmed bears, all the bears protecting their cubs, all the bears that kids provoke, everything. Black bears are scavengers (which is why, should you be attacked by a BLACK bear, you should *not* play dead, they'll eat ya
), which means that they eat dead things, and otherwise mostly plants (berries, nuts, etc). Bears are *FAR* more scared of people than people are of them unless they have become accostomed to eating your trash
- in which case its the peoples dumb fault for leaving it out and thinking "oh how cute that little bear..."
I'm sorry, but I took a whole class in college on black bear managment - and they just aren't the terrifying animals that many people make them out to be. Nor are they nearly as big as most people think. Theres just too much misinformation on bears out there, but the bottom line is, that unless provoked (you between trash, food, cubs, etc) they won't attack.
I actually know a lot about them too. We have at least two incidents per year here. A cub scout was attacked sleeping in a tent in the fall. He was not provoking, he was not even awake. Not worth the risk, IMO. As we encroach on their territory, they get more aggressive. We routinely see traps for relocation, etc, because they are nuisance bears. That is a major problem here. Yes, this is the fault of the people leaving trash, growing vegetable gardens, putting out pumpkins for Halloween, etc. However, I can't control what neighbors may do to bring them into the area. Believe me there are tons of idiots around here that feed them and think it's cute. When my mom bought her house, she had a huge bear problem. Turns out, the former owners were notorious bear feeders. Now she has a bear problem that is no fault of her own. It's actually against the law to feed them in this state, but it still happens. The true "mountain folk" do it to lure them and then will actually take a shot at them.
I don't care if there was one attack on a child, not worth it, sorry. Not when we live in one of the most highly concentrated areas for them on the east coast. Especially at this time of the year, when they are out with the babies that were born in January. The one on my porch was quite large. The hunters get 600 pounders every season. To me, that is big. I was totally freaked out as he stared in the glass door at me. Not that I think he'd attack, but I wouldn't leave a small child unattended here, ever. I'm sure the parents of the dead baby thought they were safe, too. I heard the bear smelled milk on the baby, and that was how the attack was explained. My little nursling smells like milk 24/7.
Anyway, back to the OP. In her situation, without wildlife and in a safe neigborhood, with mommy near it's probably safe. The neighbor sounds like a nut.