Sixty-one year old Rick Nelson of Sudbury, Ontario was routinely walking his dog in a wooded area last weekend, when he was suddenly confronted by a black bear cub. Startling the cub, it quickly called for its mother out of fear.
“I sat down on a log and the bear cub poked its head out of the shrub nearby. It was so close I could touch it. It let out a yelp, because I scared the heck out of it,” Nelson told CBC News.
Nelson, a former bear hunter, immediately recognized the imminent threat he was facing and it was not long until the mother bear was facing him, rising to her hind legs, ready for battle.
“I had no rocks, no sticks,” he said.
Little did this momma bear know, in addition to being a season woodsman, her opponent had considerable experience in the boxing ring and planned to use that to what little advantage that might offer him.
As he lined up with the animal, his first attempt at a strike was a miss and struck the bear in the teeth. The bear quickly retaliated, leaving claw marks across the man’s chest and face.
“I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed,” Nelson said.
With this in mind, Nelson swung again at the bear, this time landing an underhand strike right to the animal’s snout, which is the best place to strike a bear in an attack.
“I had the perfect shot to take. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout.”
It was in this moment the bear cub let out another squeal and began to move away from the attack, leaving Nelson to ponder what the mother’s next move was going to be. During the brief pause, the mother bear, now with blood pouring from her nose, turned and followed the cub.
Nelson had won this round.
Despite his unfortunate altercation with the bear, Nelson, like any other hunter, wanted to enforce both the fact that attacks like these are extremely rare and that bears are not an animal we should fear.
“Black bears really aren’t dangerous unless you have a cub involved. So sometimes black bears get a really bad rap. Probably they’re more afraid of you and [me], than we are of them,” he said.
“I’m really glad that the bear walked away. And I’m really glad I did too.”
H/T: CBC News