All summer, we've kept our windows closed at night because I'm ridiculous. I know it's not going to happen, but I'm paranoid that a bear is going to climb right through the window and eat me in my sleep and my husband is to blame.

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My family lives in the middle of nowhere and we're well aware of the wildlife that lives in the woods surrounding our house which lends to the charm of our property. We've got deer, raccoons, porcupines, coyotes, and bears, just to name a few. None of our woodland creatures bother us, instead, we get excited when an animal in our yard (which happens on a daily basis).

However, one afternoon I was standing at the kitchen sink in the middle of the day when I looked out the window and saw two bear cubs and a mama bear playing in my yard. They were so engrossed in their playing that even when I opened the door to our second-floor deck, they kept romping around.

I told my husband about seeing the bears, thinking it was so cool, and he did what husbands do. He sent me a slew of terrifying videos showing bears climbing into houses through cracked open windows and causing destruction. And that's why we sleep with the windows closed and locked.

In all reality, the likelihood of a bear climbing into a person's house is much less than going for a walk in the backyard and spotting one. However, there have been a lot of bear spottings around the country, so many so that the United States National Park Service has issued a reminder to people of what to do if they come face to face with a bear says that if you come upon a bear you should, 'move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping."

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

Some people think they should run or climb a tree if in the company of a bear. Those people couldn't be more wrong if they tried. The National Parks Service says, "Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree."  The agency reminds people that bears can climb trees.

Hilariously, the National Parks Service also reminded people that sacrificing friends to bears isn't cool, "Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course)."

Many people also believe that if they wave and jump up and down in front of a bear, it will cause the bear to flee. Maybe not. The National Park Service says, "Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear." However, they suggest making noise so that the bear knows you're there and to identify yourself by using your voice so the bear recognizes you as human. They warn that the bear may walk closer to you or stand up on its hind legs but generally not because they want to attack you but out of curiosity.

For more on what to do if you find yourself face to face with a bear, check out the page on the National Park Service website devoted to all things bears.

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