Is 2013 the summer of the bear attacks? Are shark attacks so last decade? I’m really starting to think so.
Bear with me as we take a stroll through this spring and early summer’s most ridiculous or most heroic bear attack true stories.
In a heart-warming Father’s Day incident in Wyoming, two brothers from Utah charged a black bear to defend their 7-year-old baby sister. The young man who first spotted the bear stalking his sister was himself only 11.
In a chilling mid-May bear attack, a 400-pound black bear actually broke into Joe Azougar’s remote cabin in northern Ontario. He fought for his life, thumbing the animal in its eyes in a desperate battle for survival.
The enormous specimen had already killed and dragged off his German shepherd. The bear then managed to drag Azouger out of his cabin with much of his scalp torn off before two women driving by saw what was happening and banded together to charge the animal.
Azougar survived and later gave an interview from his hospital bed describing the chilling hand-to-hand battle to Canada’s National Post.
But my favorite bear attack heroes this spring are the unarmed family of birders who were stalked and attacked by a brown bear at Kasilof River Beach, Alaska.
That deranged and aggressive bear took on a family of five, including a 7-month-old baby in the mother’s pack. The father successfully defended his family from the starving bear by beating it off with a camera tripod.
Bears aren’t just a problem for North Americans.
In late May, one of those infamous Russian dashboard cams captured footage of a collision between car and bear.
And bears aren’t always the villains of the piece.
In a bear mauling reported earlier this week from Anchorage, Alaska, a lonely drunk fed a black bear barbecue meat from his grill — not once but twice.
You know how your mom always said that if you feed a bear a sandwich and you run out, the bear will try to eat your arm? It’s like that. An Alaska state trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the bear “kind of went ballistic” and mauled the man.
Not all of these bear attacks were as preventable as that one.
But you can take steps to protect yourself. Here’s a short and somewhat tongue-in-cheek video on pizza safety in bear country:
This BBC footage includes tips from an actual bear attack survivor:
Here’s how to survive if the bear attacks anyway:
[grizzly bear fight photo by Ronnie Howard via Shutterstock]