A video of a bear attack is making the rounds on the internet. It shows a Canadian hunter out on a spring hunt. When he comes across a black bear, he watches the bear. The bear takes its sweet time moseying over to the hunter, but then there is a panicked moment of violence, and the bear attacks.
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When TMZ ran the story, the headline read: “Bear Attack: Hunter Goes Down But Survives!” While factually correct, it may be a bit misleading. The camera goes down, for sure. Richard Wesley, from Hearst, Ontario, may not have gone down. He certainly didn’t get mauled.
That fact may be a good indication that the bear in this video isn’t nearly as vicious as the TMZ headline would suggest. Bears have an innate curiosity. When humans are in their environment, as this hunter was, they are out of place. The newness often leads the bears to check out the newcomers.
And the hunter, who grows understandably agitated the closer the bear gets to him, likely brought on the actual attack part by showing panicked hear and aggression when the bear came within arms reach.
There are precautions you can take against bears–black bears especially. The first is cautious avoidance. When you see a bear this far away, calmly move in the opposite direction. The calm part is important. Don’t make it a game of chase. If there is a chase, run downhill. The steeper the better.
If you’re unable to put distance between yourself and the bear, roll up in a ball. Tuck your knees to your chest and wrap your fingers around the back of your neck and lock them together tightly.
The bear may roll you around a bit, and it is highly likely that you’ll get some scratches, but that is better than the alternative. With your face tucked into your knees and your neck protected by your fingers, you will easily survive an encounter with a black bear.
Unless you piss it off. And you may have trouble if it is really hungry. And if it is a pissed off mother with cubs who are hungry, you’re going to have real problems.
Most black bears, though, are harmless. They look something like this:
They’ve been known to false charge and act aggressive, but then change their minds and move on, just like this one did.Grizzly bears, though. They’re a different story. They usually look like this:
We don’t know how the bear in this video changed its mind, but it did. And the hunter didn’t have anything to do with it.
He’s actually lucky he chose not to shoot it with the arrow. It would have taken a very well placed shot with the bow to have brought the bear down. And injuring the bear, but not killing it, could have been disastrous.