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(C) Gary Coulbourne [ Taken Near: 11-15-1997 ]

The bear family diverged, along with the racoons, from the same evolutionary tree as the canines. This split occurred before the Oligocene period, over 36 million years ago. Aspects of this genetic heritage remain. Like dogs, bears will chase an animal which runs from them. This "chase response" is instinctive. The advice given by most experts concerning bear attacks is that one shouldn't run, as this only inspires the bear to chase. Bears can run more than twice as fast as the fastest human, so the animal would most certainly be able to catch a fleeing man.