Are bears attracted to breast milk? [Explained]

If you are still lactating while on a camping trip, you might be concerned about a bear’s ability to smell and be drawn toward breast milk.

While bears do have a strong sense of smell and are known to have 100 times better sense of smell than dogs – can bears be attracted to breast milk?

Are bears attracted to breast milk?

There is no scientific evidence that bears are attracted to breast milk. However to be on the safe side, please follow the tips mentioned below to ensure lactating females don’t attract bears when you are camping out in the wild.

Tips to prevent bears from being attracted to breast milk

While there is no evidence that bears are attracted to breast milk, and probably cannot smell it as long as it is inside your body, the following tips should ensure your safety.

Tip 1:

After pumping, dispose of the milk properly, don’t just pour it out near your campsite. Instead walk at least 200 meters away from your camp and pour the milk, preferably on soil and not on hard surfaces.

Tip 2:

If possible, pump and dispose of the breast milk in a source of flowing water. This should prevent the smell from lingering closer to your campsite and send bears far away from you and your loved ones.

Tip 3:

You may not like reading this tip, but if possible postpone your camping trip until you stop lactating. This also means you don’t have to carry your breast pump and worry about cleaning it and disposing of the milk in the wild while being concerned about your safety!


While there is no research to clarify if bears are attracted to breast milk or not – the tips mentioned in this article should help you deal with the situation when you are on your camping trip!