Laura and her family had to deal with dangerous wild animals. They lived in American when it was an undeveloped country. It was a very different place from a city such as modern Hong Kong. However we can still learn from them.
Do not feed large wild animals! Laura's father would never feed the bears. The bears would learn that they can get food from people. Then the bears will bother people for food. What would you think if a bear rips open the side of your tent and comes in looking for food. You will know that earlier someone gave food to that bear. If you see someone feeding a bear, scold that person. The same thing applies to other animals in other parts of the world. Do not feed monkeys in Hong Kong. The monkeys will learn to bother humans and go into human homes for food.
Today, in many American parks, bears seen eating human food get shot. The human giving food to the bear gets a strict scolding. I think that is unfair. Bears are not very smart; they need a reminder. The punishments should be reversed. The humans should be shot and the bears given a strict scolding.
Bear safety is not a problem in Hong Kong, but it is something I know about. Once, long ago as a teenager, I had a summer-job in a Canadian forest. In Canada the most common bears are black bears. Grizzly bears can be found in the western mountains. Polar bears are found in the far north.
That summer, when I was out hiking with some other boys, we were caught between a big mother bear and her cubs. One of the boys wanted to run away. He was not able to run away because another, larger, boy held him by the throat. We walked away carefully and slowly. We told each other to not look back. I looked back! The mother bear was following 3 metres behind us. She stopped and watched us only after the trail turned away.
Shouting and waving your arms or canoe paddle might scare off a black bear, but would cause a grizzly to attack you. Pepper spray might scare off a black bear, but will definitely cause a grizzly to attack you. Throwing rocks will cause both a black bear and grizzly to attack you. Throwing rocks at bears is not the way to live a long life.
Could you climb a tree to escape from a bear? Black bears are good at climbing trees, but an angry grizzly might just push the tree down.
Many wild animals mark their territory with urine. People have often kept animals, such as wolves, away from their campsite by urinating in a circle around the camp site. This is easier for boys than for girls.
Both types of bear find human speech non-threatening and puzzling. If you meet a bear you can say “Hello” to it, and walk away slowly as if you have no reason to be afraid. If other people see you do this they may think you are a witch, but you will have walked away slowly and safely.
Keep in mind that the bear does not want any trouble. Most of all just do not do stupid things.