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Russia’s first-ever anti-bear repellent to hit market

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05 November 2014


'Bears are getting a lot braver and getting closer to people and are starting to feed off common rubbish places and even attacking people.' Picture: The Siberian Times

The first-ever Russian spray to deter bears has been developed in Siberia, biologists have announced. Many parts of the Urals and west Siberia have faced a growing problem with bears in recent years, with increased incidents of people being attacked.

It means the new pepper spray will be welcomed by residents in rural communities, walkers and people who camp in the outdoors. Similar types of repellents to deal with overly aggressive bears are already in use in other parts of the world, including the United States. But this is the first time a new product has been developed in Russia specifically to target bears, although it will also work on wolves and foxes.

Its developers, 'Tyumen aerosols' Ltd. in the Tyumen Region, say it works by letting off a pungent pepper-based smell, which the animals do not like.

Biologist Dr Pavel Kosintev said: 'The number of bears has risen due to a decrease in hunters’ activity. Bears are getting a lot braver and getting closer to people and are starting to feed off common rubbish places and even attacking people.

'This year we couldn’t finish an expedition on time because of bears getting right inside our camp. We had to leave the camp because no one was prepared to tempt fate and wait for them to attack. 

He added: 'Bears hate sharp scents, so the pepper spray should help frighten them.'

Anti-bears spray

New pepper spray will be welcomed by residents in rural communities, walkers and people who camp in the outdoors. Picture: 'Tyumen aerosols'

Officials in the animal protection department in Sverdlovsk said there are now 4,063 brown bears in the Middle Urals, a rise of 12 on last year. A spokesman said: 'The annual increase is not huge, but it’s stable. For the last four years there has been a favorable climate for bears and a significant decrease in hunting activity.'

Unveiling the new spray, the firm behind it said it was the 'first of its kind' in Russia. A press statement added: 'We came to develop it because of the rapid increase in the bear population in western Siberia and Urals.'

The first ever bear repellent was developed in the US in 1992 by a man who survived an encounter with a grizzly by using a normal pepper spray. Best used at a distance of at least 25 feet, the sprays used in America have been found to be up to 98 per cent effective in warding off a potential attack from an aggressive animal.

The repellents also have no ill-effect on the bears.

Comments (2)

Actually the "First" Bear Spray was developed in the early 1980's by Bill Pounds of Counter Assault and was the "First" on the market in 1986. The reference to the man attacked by a bear in 1992 was actually saved by a can of "Karate in a Can" produced by Counter Assault. He later worked for Counter Assault and then left to form a competing company with a product produced by a company producing pepper spray. (See the June 1995 article in "Hunting" magazine)

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent was the first bear spray to receive EPA Registration and set the standards for all other bear sprays. Research conducted in conjunction with the University of Montana and the "Border Grizzly Project" on both captive and wild bears concluded that the Counter Assault formulation produced the best results. Continued innovation continues to set the standard.
George E. Hyde, Kalispell, MT USA
07/11/2014 00:20
Do not be fooled ! Here in the states bear spray usually reduces the severity of the attack but it rarely ends or prevents an attack. Still it could be the difference between life and death. Since most attacks in the States are the result of surprising a bear, noise is your best first defense. If you are alone in the woods you are really in trouble. Two or more people with guns or spray is your best hope since the bear can only attack you one at a time. Even when armed with guns, in heavy brush a bear can surprise and disable two people before they can react.
Keith Jonz, Slapout Ok USA
06/11/2014 21:10

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