5 Fictional Bears and Whether They'd Kill You

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From docile to deadly, we’ve ranked our favorite fictional bears by your likelihood of surviving an unplanned run-in with them.

Paddington Bear

Andean Bear

The only bears native to Paddington’s home country of Peru, Andeans are docile omnivores. When they see (or smell) a human, their first move is to bolt up a tree. Unless you’re packing one of Paddington’s marmalade sandwiches, you’re probably in the clear.

Smokey

American Black Bear

© CORBIS

Unlike their grizzly cousins, black bears are pretty timid. Smokey might charge if he felt threatened or thought you were starting a forest fire, but it would be a bluff to make you run away. Fight back and you’ll probably live ... to tell the coolest story ever.

Baloo

Sloth Bear

The lovable bear from The Jungle Book is secretly into torture. Rather than killing victims outright, sloth bears chew their human prey’s limbs into what wildlife texts describe as “a perfect pulp.” Really adds a dark subtext to “The Bear Necessities,” doesn’t it?

Little Bear

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bears are notoriously defensive and territorial. Should you encounter Little Bear in the wilds around his quaint country cottage, your best bet is to play dead until he determines you’re no longer a threat. Don’t get bold and try to fight back. You will not win.

Rupert Bear

Let's Say He's a Polar Bear

Don't be fooled by Rupert's fine British manners and garish golf pants. Unlike most bear species, polar bears are carnivorous. When a hungry male goes after you, he's in it to win it. Fortunately, encountering these guys is rare because you don't live in the Arctic.

This article originally appeared in mental_floss magazine. Get a free issue!

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June 12, 2012 - 5:38pm
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