In a heart-stopping moment, a group of tourists in Alaska faced a terrifying charge from a brown bear, but a courageous group member managed to scare the bear away.
The incident occurred during a guided tour to Chinitna Bay on Lake Clark’s Cook Inlet in Alaska. The group had joined the company Scenic Bear Viewing, hoping to catch a glimpse of bears in their natural habitat.
Unexpectedly, a bear in the distance started charging toward them rapidly, creating a nail-biting encounter.
Acting swiftly, guide Martin Boland, who possesses more than ten years of experience with bears, exhibited immense bravery. He ran toward the bear, camera in hand, and shouted in its face.
Martin’s quick thinking paid off as the bear hurried back into the water, frightened by his bold actions.
However, the tension rose again when another brown bear in the distance began charging at the group, gaining speed rapidly.
Following the terrifying ordeal, the tour company took to their Instagram for advice and said: “Never run from a charging bear, even though your instinct is to run.
This is a bluff charge. They are just trying to get you to run. They have a natural chase instinct. Don’t get close to bears in the wild. Make sure you have an experienced guide with you! We do not get closer than 50 yards.
These bears came to us.” They also emphasized that there has never been a bear attack in the 30 years people have visited the area.
Scenic Bear Viewing allows tourists to observe bears in their natural wilderness. The group departs from Homer, Alaska, on a plane with Martin, an experienced pilot of over thirty years, to Katmai or Lake Clark National Parks.
Brown bears typically have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years, although some have been known to live as long as 35 years.
When visiting national parks, the US National Parks Service advises visitors to understand the difference between bluff charges and aggressive charges.
For a bluff charge intended only to intimidate, the Parks service advises people to hold their ground and avoid running, as doing so may provoke a real attack.
During a bluff charge, similar to the incident in Alaska, the bear may take big leaps but will eventually move away to the side.
In the case of an aggressive attack, where the bear charges quickly toward a person, the recommended course of action varies.
If facing a brown bear, individuals should play dead and remain as still as possible to avoid being seen as a threat. On the other hand, if confronted by a black bear, it is advised to fight back to the best of one’s ability.
By staying calm, following safety guidelines, and having experienced guides, tourists can enjoy bear viewing while minimizing potential risks.
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