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The wilderness can be a dangerous place for even the most experienced survivalists, like the contestants on the HISTORY® program "Alone." Throw bears into the mix of elements to deal with, and the challenge just became that much more difficult. Contrary to what you may think, different strategies are better suited for encountering different bears. For example, you should never try to run from a grizzly bear as they are much faster than you, and you should never try to climb a tree to get away from a black bear. You should play dead if near a grizzly bear, and stay in fetal position for at least 20 minutes. The playing dead tactic wouldn't work as well with a black bear. When encountering a polar bear, all you can really do is hope for the best: running, playing dead, and acting like a predator could all turn the bear on you.
Here's what to do if you find yourself face-to-face with a bear in the wild.
From the 1950s-'80s, there were wrestling leagues that held human versus bear wrestling matches. 00:47
Bears have a very strong sense of smell, and can pick up sweat or food stains on your clothing. 02:40
Bears can run up to 40 mph. 03:44
Mary's perspective on how to survive alone in the wilderness.
Explore how these bears have adapted in different ways to suit different environments.
A close look at a bear's skull.