Can bears eat popcorn without any side effects? Some omnivores have no problem with popcorn. However, it never hurts to know exactly what happens to the world’s biggest honey-loving creatures when they eat popcorn.
Can Bears Eat Popcorn?
Bears can eat popcorn without experiencing any health effects. This happens because bears are omnivores. Nearly 10% of their diet is made up of meat sources, while the remaining percentage is made up of plants.
Therefore, being a plant-derived treat, popcorn is not the least harmful to bears. However, when bears get accustomed to consuming human food like popcorn, they are more likely to scavenge for such food in human settlement areas, which is potentially dangerous.
Bears not only eat but also love popcorn. In fact, popcorn is one of the most frequently used bear baits used by bear hunters. Although it’s not practiced much anymore because of how destructive it is, bear hunting gets easier when hunters use popcorn to attract these giant furry creatures. The aroma of the popped kernels easily lures bears out into the open, making them an easy catch.
It’s also possible to feed flavored popcorn to bears. Unlike other animals, bears aren’t negatively affected by popcorn flavoring ingredients. This means you can feed them different popcorn varieties. Alternatively, you can opt for the healthier honey-dripping popcorn treat that they absolutely love.
What other Foods do Bears Eat?
Bears eat a lot of what humans eat. As omnivores, their digestive systems are well suited to digest anything from animal or plant-based sources. With this in mind, the list of foods that bears eat is quite long.
However, most of the time, bears ingest more plant-based foods than they do foods from animal sources. In fact, at least 75% of a wild bear’s diet comprises plants. This percentage can rise to 90%, depending on the type of bear in question. Here’s a list of some of the foods that bears eat.
The favorite plant-based food for most bears is berries. It is estimated that a single bear can eat at least 30,000 berries in one year. Berries are a crucial part of a bear’s diet because they contain the antioxidant B-17. This compound helps boost immunity and is also helpful in destroying mutated cells.
Leaves, Grass and Nuts
When bears aren’t eating berries, they are enjoying leaves, buds, and sometimes roots. They also eat nuts and certain grass species and sedges, especially in the spring, just before the plants regain their leafy greens.
For more protein, they enjoy eating ants, worms, and fish and can occasionally hunt the young of other animals and feed on them. Hunting sprees may target newborn moose, deer, elk, or caribou. Besides this, they target beehives for their occasional dose of honey.
What Human Foods Can’t Bears Eat?
Bears have a very adaptive digestive system. This allows them to eat several foods without any discomfort or harm.
Certain foods, however, are harmful to these creatures, and others are avoided. Let’s explore some of the foods that are off a bear’s menu.
One of the active ingredients in chocolate is theobromine. Dark chocolate has enough of this chemical to kill, but white chocolate also has traces of it, so when eaten in large amounts, it has the same effect as dark chocolate.
When bears consume theobromine, it gets into their bloodstream and causes all kinds of problems, such as vomiting, seizures, and hypothermia in bears, or even puts them in a coma. In other cases, theobromine triggers respiratory and heart failure, resulting in death.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you are around bears, avoid having apple-cider vinegar-flavored foods with you. Bears don’t like the smell of apple cider vinegar, so it might not hurt them directly, but it makes them act too aggressively toward the person carrying it.
Soft drinks like Coke aren’t necessarily harmful to bears. They have no negative chemical reactions when bears ingest them. However, these drinks are full of calories and taste better than most foods that bears can find in the wild. So, giving bears soft drinks makes them detest natural foods that are healthier for them and turns them into scavengers looking for human food to satiate their huge caloric appetite. In the long term, this can lead to bears becoming unhealthy.
Bears Enjoy Eating Popcorn
Bears love eating popcorn. Even better, they can have flavored popcorn without any negative side effects. This makes Bear one of the best popcorn buddies a human can find.
But bears are dangerous and unpredictable, so it’s best to stay away from them. Also, the creatures shouldn’t be exposed to so much human food because it makes them more likely to come scavenging for the leftovers in human settlement areas.
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