When entering an area with a mother black bear, she can be extremely aggressive if another animal or human poses a threat to her offspring. In bear country, the rule of thumb is to make a little noise so as not to startle the bears. When encountering a bear, each situation can be different, so it’s important to react correctly. Sonya, a SUNY-ESF junior, worked in bear country and had a few encounters with bears. She was out hiking and saw warning signs for bears, such as fur and scat. Her group started being vocal to make their presence known. Without warning, two black bear cubs ran across the trail followed by the protective mother. “We stood still as the mother charged us, and she stopped 5 feet from us. As she lost interest, we waited at least a half hour for her to leave the area.” Sonya and her group walked away unscathed, but they had to react quickly and let the bear leave on its own accord. When explaining her story, Sonya emphasized the importance of “mountain etiquette”: don’t provoke, follow the animal’s terms, and let them take it time to pass you by.