(CNN) – I think there is a misconception that if an animal attacks a human that they are therefore going to attack more humans. There is some research with big cats that once they had a taste of blood, the saltiness in human blood may be a reason for them to return but in an animal like a bear, there is no need for a bear to obtain more salt and there is really no proof of that. I think that’s a misnomer, that’s us as humans trying to put on that bears are bad.”
As the director of Zoomontana, Jeff Ewelt spends a lot of time around the zoo’s two grizzlies, Ozzy and Bruno.
In his studies of bears and human interactions with these large predators, Ewelt says bears most often attack out of instinct to protect themselves or to protect their kids.
You know that saying, “don’t mess with mamma bear?”
It exists for a reason. While Ewelt says it’s a double-sided tragedy when bears attack humans – he assures us a bear is not more likely to attack again – or to seek human blood following an attack.
Ewelt reminds us humans are not known prey for grizzly bears but they are large carnivores that should be respected.