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This May Be The Most Peaceful Grizzly Bear Encounter Ever

Serious props to this guy for keeping his cool when he encountered a pair of grizzly bear cubs and mama bear on a trail in Katmai National Park, AK. This is the kind of thing that usually ends really badly, but in this case, backing away slowly may have been the best course of action. Lucky for us, our hero narrates the whole encounter. The curious cubs really wanted to find out what the mysterious creature ahead of them was, and mama bear had no choice but to follow. 

This is not a surprise encounter. Surprise encounters are responsible for the vast majority of mauling incidents. The sow knew exactly what she was doing the whole time. The cubs were definitely curious but the mother wanted to get somewhere and that’s about it. She did not display a single sign of aggression. The sow, apparently of a decent age, had likely been around quite a few humans throughout her life and knows them as mostly harmless critters. I bet the hiker could have stopped, let the cubs sniff him without himself looking threatening, and they would have eventually just carried on. Another great option would have been to take a few steps off the trail and let them go by. I understand that this can be quite unnerving for someone that hasn’t been around bears very much though. Cool footage.

No, you don’t stop and let the cubs sniff you.  But the hiker should have gone off trail and let them pass - they were not following him, they were going somewhere and he is in their way.  That is their habitat, not ours.

About The Author

stash member Max Ritter

I manage digital content here at TGR, run our gear testing program, and am stoked to be living the dream in the Tetons.