Bear chases joggers on Alberta trail: 'Our escape was not guaranteed'
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, June 15, 2014 9:51PM EDT
Two Alberta joggers went for a harrowing run with a black bear last week, and they have the video to prove it.
Bruce Allan and Greg Armour were out for some exercise on June 5 when they came across a young black bear on a wooded trail in Fort McMurray, Alta. The trail was just a few kilometres from where a Suncor employee was killed in a bear attack in May.
The YouTube video they posted of the incident shows the animal closely following the pair for at least four minutes before the two were able to escape back to their vehicle.
“The moment that I met the bear it was an instant ‘turn around, don’t make eye contact, walk away,’ and that didn’t seem to work,” Allan, who filmed the video, told CTV Edmonton.
“I was ready for him to pretty much pounce on me at any time. For about three or four minutes I figured, what part of me is going to get gouged or ripped open?”
In the video, the two repeatedly try to scare the bear away by shouting at it. Throughout the encounter, the bear would briefly back away or climb a tree near the edge of the forest before once again approaching the pair.
“He was showing all he could do right there, as far as I’m concerned,” said Armour.
The two men grabbed rocks at one point in case they needed to defend themselves.
“There were definitely some moments where our escape was not guaranteed in any way,” Armour added.
An Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer said the behaviour seen in the video was typical curiosity. The officer said the two joggers handled the situation correctly, mentioning that it would have been a perfect time to use bear spray, if they had any.
Allan and Armour said they’ve bought bear spray since the close call, but said they won’t be jogging that particular trail any time soon.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson