The least we can say is that this man had the surprise of his life on his birthday. Last May, Richard Wesley, a 45-year-old Canadian, went hunting with his family near Hearst in northern Ontario, where he had an unexpected encounter. In the distance just off the road, he spotted a rather large black bear.
Armed with a bow and arrow, the man remained motionless to observe the animal but it did not take long for the bear to approach. ‘By the time I realised he was getting too close, he was already only about thirteen feet away,’ said the Canadian to the CBC. ‘Two seconds later, he was only nine feet away.’
At this distance, the black bear quickly gained speed while approaching the hunter, frightening him who then tried to scream to frighten the bear away, but to no avail. The animal jumped on him, throwing him to the ground as his camera landed next to him and continued to film the scene.
‘He scared the hell out of me’
‘He jumped on me and all I can remember is thinking that “I have to hit him in the face,”’ said Richard Wesley, pointing out that bears have a sensitive nose. He thus used the arrows from his bow to sting the bear’s nose, a tactic that obviously worked since the animal ended up getting off the man to go take refuge in the bushes.
After several seconds we can see the man pick up his camera and start to run before saying ‘I should have shot at him before, damn, he scared the hell out of me.’ Fortunately, everything ended well for the man who suffered only a bruised elbow due to his fall. ‘Really happy that the outcome was neither fatal nor tragic,’ he wrote in the description of the video.
Accustomed to the region, the Canadian said it was the first time he had had such an experience. ‘I have never really been scared of bears, we have to be wary of them, sometimes they do amazing things but they have never attacked one of us,’ he said, suggesting that this creature was probably trying to defend his territory.
A bear that can weigh over 200 kg
The black bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common in North America. Although smaller than the brown bear, it can still measure up to six and a half feet long with a weight that can exceed 200 kilograms. In other words, the animal can be very impressive and dangerous when it stands up on its two legs or begins to charge.
‘This proves that the black bear is a wild and unpredictable animal,’ Richard Wesley said regarding his encounter, adding that this will not discourage him from returning to the area to hunt. At present, the Canadian black bear population is estimated at about 450,000 according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which classifies it as ‘least concern.’