A recent e-mail and photo from a neighbor in Connecticut that he had visited with during the New Years holiday reminded attorney Doug Landau that run-ins with bears, even friendly looking ones, can be dangerous. Especially if there are cubs and a mother bear, the protective instinct can lead to unfortunate interactions with nature. While Landau’s neighbor was able to take simple photos of this interloper, Landau has heard from friends and clients who have been chased by bears. When a client has lost mobility due to an injury or disease, meeting a bear, or dangerous dog or other animal can be a terrifying event. If you cannot get away like you used to, or you cannot protect your children or grandchildren, an animal attack (or even a scare) can be just one more way that your injuries or impaired health can cause further harm. Even when a client is in a place of safety, they know that they may be trapped there. Being unable to protect yourself as you had been accustomed to when healthy and uninjured must take a terrible toll on folks with traumatic injuries or permanent impairment.
When Landau was young and went off to explore in the woods near where this photograph was taken, his mother would send him with a loud whistle and brightly colored clothes, so that he could be easy to find and so that he could readily call for help. While Landau has had only two “close encounters” with local bears, neither resulted in any harm to man or beast.