"I know what you're thinkin', Yogi. You're thinkin' did he just whip out a can of spray cologne or is that pepper spray?"
John Tierney has an interesting piece about polar bears and the use of bear spray for protection from bear attacks:
A rifle apparently doesn’t work as well as a cannister of red pepper spray. Dr. [Thomas] Smith and colleagues report in the Journal of Wildlife Management that in encounters during the past three decades where humans used spray against black, brown and polar bears, the spray stopped the bears’ “undesirable behavior” more than 90 percent of the time — and in none of the incidents did any person suffer serious injury.
Most of the incidents involved brown bears, not polar bears. Dr. Smith, an associate professor of wildlife science at Brigham Young University, explained to me that the polar bears have an undeserved reputation for ferocity, particularly by comparison with brown bears like grizzlies.
Dr. Smith tells Tierney that bear spray was effective in all polar bear "incidents" he knew of and that he was only able to find a record of two human fatalities associated with polar bears in over 600 known "incidents" in 125 years. According to Smith, "polar bears act much more like black bears (very risk averse) than grizzlies (much more aggressive) and hence we find few incidents."