If a woman is menstruating, does that increase her risk of bear attack?

In August 1967 in Glacier National Park, 2 young women were killed by 2 different grizzly bears on the same night. One of the women was wearing cosmetics and was menstruating and using external pads. Some writers speculated that menstrual odors triggered the attack and bear-safety brochures now often warn women not to hike or camp in bear country during menstruation.

While also unlikely that 2 bears would attack on the same night without a common environmental event, the most important factor was probably the habituation of both bears to people and human-associated foods. A subsequent fatal attack at Glacier in 1976 involved a grizzly which entered a tent, dragging out and killing a young woman.

The woman was not menstruating or using cosmetics and the camp was sanitary. Two young male bears with a history of harassing campers were killed nearby a few hours later. In Yellowstone, 19 people were injured by bears between 1980-1994. Five victims were women; no evidence linked menstruation to any attack. More>

Source: www.mass.gov

One thought on “If a woman is menstruating, does that increase her risk of bear attack?

  1. Are menstruating women at greater risk of bear attacks than anyone else? No. That’s my short answer. My long answer is an 11 page chapter about the “menstrual myth” in Backcountry Bear Basics.

    Glacier National Park started the menstrual myth, and continues to perpetuate it. Glacier would face sex discrimination lawsuits if it said, “sorry, we can’t hire a woman to work in the backcountry because bears are attracted to menstrual odors.” There’s no reputable scientific or anecdotal evidence that bears go after menstruating women. Why does Glacier continue to warn the public menstrual odors might attract bears? Lawsuits. Tort claims.

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