Crossing paths with a mother bear and cubs is every hiker’s worst nightmare.
If there’s one thing you never want to have happen when in the woods, it has to be stumbling upon a mother bear with cubs. This one scenario can turn tragic in a heartbeat, as these powerful and protective predators usually won’t let anything get between them and their offspring.
For 74-year-old Geoffrey Glassner, fortunately, he lived to tell of such a tale. While camping recently in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, he came across a mother bear and her two cubs on a well-worn hiking trail. As he backs up, the trio keeps plodding forward, keeping pace with Glassner as he makes his way back to camp.
Here’s the tense footage:
Although Glassner lived to tell his tale, many are calling him out for his reckless actions, including the National Park. The following comment was posted to his YouTube channel:
“This was brought to the attention of rangers at Katmai National Park because it’s a great example of what NOT to do when encountering a bear on trail. As other commenters have noted, everyone arriving at Brooks Camp immediately attends a bear orientation that discusses in detail what to do in this kind of situation. The right thing to do is, first, put your camera down and pay attention. You’re dealing with a very large and potentially very dangerous wild animal. Second, back away slowly to maintain a distance of 50 yards from the bear. If the bear continues towards you, as shown in this video, you need to move off the trail and yield the right of way. Brooks Camp is world famous for bear viewing and photography, but the only reason Katmai can allow people to have such close proximity to the bears is because the vast majority of our visitors behave responsibly and in accordance with what they’re taught at the bear orientation. Failure to act appropriately in bear country—as unfortunately is shown here—can end in disaster for both the people and the bears involved.”
Many believe the only reason this bruin didn’t act aggressively toward Glassner is because many of the bears in the park are somewhat habituated to humans. The same scenario in a different location and there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be seeing this footage.
We recently published a statistical story on fatal black bear attacks. CLICK HERE for that fascinating read.
Did you enjoy this post? CLICK HERE to view more articles by Justin Hoffman. You can also check out his Photography Site Justin Hoffman Outdoors, as well as follow him on Facebook Justin Hoffman Outdoors, Instagram hoffmanoutdoors, Twitter @HoffmanOutdoors, or subscribe to his YouTube channel Justin Hoffman.