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Is there a bear here?

The ability to recognise the marks they leave behind, as well as knowing their favourite types of food, will help you to avoid unexpected encounters with bears.

Tracks have five digits and claws on each paw. The hind track is longer: for an adult bear it's about the same size as a man's footprint. It's possible to estimate the weight of the individual according to the size of the track (see below)..

Photographs: Peter Svec, MM, Ivan Švec

Faeces of bears are recognisable by the remains of plants, which they can't digest very well. Spring - grass and herbs, summer - fruits, insects, autumn - fruits, seeds, insects.

Bears bite into or rip pieces of bark off trees, on which they rub themselves. This usually leaves a few hairs stuck in the resin, as well as a scent mark - a "message" for other bears. Claw marks or broken branches can be found on fruit trees, too, where bears have been looking for food.

The presence of bears can also be shown by excavated anthills and wasps' nests, fallen tree trunks broken open or rocks turned over, from where bears pick out larvae and insects.