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Sometimes You Are The Hunter…

August 5, 2005

…and sometimes you are the hunted. The LA Times has a chilling story about an Alaskan grizzly bear that stalks a couple on a rafting expedition, and their guide, Robert. The chase starts at a destroyed camp where it seems that bear has already been doing a little eating. And then the bear gets interested in them:

Jennifer walked the raft into the river and held it there just in case. The bear crested a small dune 40 yards away and started to charge toward them.

For a moment, Robert paused. Alone, he would have dealt with the bear then and there, but Jennifer and Kalin clearly wanted to avoid a confrontation.

Let’s get the hell out of here! he yelled.

They jumped into the raft, and their momentum helped launch the cumbersome inflatable into the balky current. They pulled hard at the water. The river was 40 yards across and braided with bars of sand and gravel. At one point the raft started to scrape bottom, forcing them to jump out, calf-deep, and push, paddles in hand, bear spray in mouth, push and push, until they were floating free again. Back aboard, Jennifer glanced over her shoulder.

The grizzly was running along the riverbank, closing fast. Then he was running beside them.

The bear’s coming down the bank, Robert yelled.

Let Kalin and me take care of the boat, Jennifer said, and you get ready to shoot.

OK. Just don’t get between me and the bear. They knew they first had the revolver, then the bear spray. That was their defense, the game plan. But beyond that, nothing.

What happens? Do you think I would tell you that here? Read the story. It’s a good one…

“Hmm. I wonder how many people I can eat in one day…”
(Photo: Joel Sartore / National Geographic / Getty Images)

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