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How to differentiate between UC Berkeley Bears and wild bears

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NOVEMBER 28, 2022

Wild bears are extremely powerful creatures that could easily severely injure you or worse. UC Berkeley Bears, on the other hand, are mostly harmless. In a forest hike/wilderness exploration situation, knowing the difference between a wild bear and a UC Berkeley Bear can be the difference between life and death. That’s why we at the Clog have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of surefire ways to tell if the animal you are looking at is an actual bear or just a UC Berkeley Bear.

  1. You are not a wild bear

For starters, let’s just make it clear that if you are comprehending this, it’s much more likely that you’re a UC Berkeley Bear and not a wild bear. In general, wild bears are not able to read so they probably would not get a lot out of this article. This makes a good baseline: when you see a creature you think might be a bear, ask yourself if it is approximately like you and you’re one step closer to finding out if it’s wild or just a Berkeley student.

  1. Wild bears can deliver more than 600 pounds of swipe force and bite with a pressure of more than 1100 psi

Despite some variance depending on the species, wild bears are reliably several times stronger than the average Cal Bear. For comparison, the Cal Bears’ average bite force sits at a measly 140 psi. Using this fact, you can reliably figure out exactly what kind of bear you’re dealing with by simply allowing it to bite you.

  1. Wild bears and UC Berkeley Bears look completely different

Another trick you can use to differentiate a wild bear from a UC Berkeley Bear is to look at it and visually comprehend it. Visually speaking, wild bears and UC Berkeley Bears are fairly distinct. If what you see is big, furry, and looks like a wild bear, it is probably a wild bear. If what you see is smaller, less furry, and looks like a human, it is probably a UC Berkeley Bear.

  1. Check below the nose

If you find yourself faced with a bear, make sure to take a close look at the end of its face. UC Berkeley Bears will usually have a small ridge below their nose, called the infranasal depression. Wild bears, meanwhile, only have a smooth slope between the bottom of their nose and their mouth. It can be a little hard to see in certain lighting, so make sure to move around and get up close. You could additionally try feeling for this small ridge.

  1. Cal Bears understand language

UC Berkeley Bears can be communicated with through specific sounds and symbols. On the other hand, wild bears are not built to comprehend language in any meaningful way. If you see a bear, make sure to ask it a simple question like “are you a wild bear” or “how are you doing today.” If it answers in a way that seems somewhat coherent, chances are you’re dealing with a UC Berkeley Bear. If it responds with something like “hrhghhrhahhghrhuuhhrr,” you’re probably talking to a wild bear.

Although the probability that you are attacked by a wild bear during an encounter is pretty low, it’s always better to be sure. The social norms and expectations for interacting with a wild bear and a UC Berkeley Bear are very different, and you wouldn’t want to mix up one with the other. Here at the Clog, we’re all about keeping our readers safe out there in the harsh wilderness. We hope this guide helps you keep your wits about you when you run into a bear one day.

This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.

Contact Allen Chen at 


NOVEMBER 28, 2022