Each month we’ll take a trip into the woods to catch up with our community’s bears and their admirers. This month President of VicBears Rob Camm writes about getting the attention of a bear in the real world.

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Real bears don’t woof.

Don’t get me wrong – you do hear a lot of woofing going on in the bear community.

One bear-focused social app even has “woof” pre-programmed as a greeting.

I’ve been guilty of the occasional woof myself, but usually under my breath rather than out loud at a fellow bear across the street.

The thing is, we don’t woof or talk like that in the real world, so how do bears really get each other’s attention these days?

From my years of research, I would have to say that it’s usually not words or grunting sounds that can steal the interest of a woofy guy – it’s in a look, a cheeky smile, or a strategically placed hand (with permission) on the bear-of-interest.

The power of body language is well established and this is evident in a gathering of friendly bears.

Look for the hairy-knuckled hand on the shoulder, or the warm wrap-around arms of a friendly bear hug.

Once you get to know a new bear, you may even move up to the mutual-beard-nuzzle or more intimate neck smooching.

If you’re lost for words in the real world, skip those woofs and grrs, and give your best smile and bear hug a go.

If you’re around Melbourne this March, we’ve got plenty of opportunities to hang with bears and admirers of all kinds.

We’ll be back at The Laird again this month for our new huge monthly gathering UNION on Saturday 24 March, and every fourth Saturday of the month.

All the details can be found at vicbears.org.au and the VicBears Inc Facebook page.

bears vicbears

VicBears. Image: Supplied.

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