Bears And Menstruation

Bears And Menstruation - Authorities at Yellowstone National Park released the results of a long-term study that showed there is no link between the likelihood of a woman being attacked by a bear and the point in her menstrual cycle.

File this one under urban legends: It turns out bears aren't attracted to menstruating women after all.

A Yellowstone National Park report released this year and posted online this week is making headlines for clearing up a popular myth that women who have their periods are a magnet for bear attacks.

That theory was sparked in 1967, according to the report, when two women were attacked and killed by grizzly bears in Glacier National Park.

One of the women was menstruating and the other had tampons, leading the Park Service to begin warning that bears might be drawn to the smell of women on their periods.

This year's report is a synthesis of the past findings on the topic, none of which have proven that menstruating women are bear bait.

In 1991, scientists found a range of black bears “ignored” the scent when in the area of four menstruating women and used tampons.

In 1985, a detailed analysis of hundreds of grizzly bear attacks found no evidence linking them to women menstruating — even the two infamous cases in 1967.

However, ladies should take note: there is one bear to be on the lookout for.

A 1983 study found four polar bears responded strongly to the smell of used tampons and even ate them — though they were still less interested in that scent than the smell of food or alcohol.

Nevertheless, nervous campers can still take a few precautions.

“The question whether menstruating women attract bears has not been completely answered,” the report concluded, yet it stated that there is “no evidence” that grizzly bears are attracted to menstrual odors “more than any other odor” and there is no data linking menstruation to bear attacks.

Yellowstone National Park advises storing tampons in sealed plastic bags, the same as food, and burning used feminine sanitary products in a campfire — though that process takes a long time at a high heat, and burning garbage might attract bears in itself.

The park cautions against burying tampons or pads, advising that bears can find them and dig them up and “this action may attract bears to other menstruating women.”

But campers of both genders should rest easy, according to the experts: the chances of being attacked by a bear are just on in more than 2.1 million.

Menstruating or not, Yellowstone says, “the risks are very low.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bears-attack-menstruating-women-urban-legend-report-finds-article-1.1145389#ixzz24mBVL49T

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