A photographer had a close call with a black bear in Waskesiu Lake, Canada, and had to resort to using bear spray to get out of the scary situation.
Nature photographer Curtis Matwishyn filmed the moment the bear began acting strangely, stalking Matwishyn all while he attempted to scare it away.
“I was out photographing a bear from a safe distance when it caught scent and sight of me. Normally, I’m used to black bears running away when they’re aware of a person but this bear was behaving oddly,” Matwishyn told Viral Hog.
“It came towards me and followed me even after I stood my ground, shouted, and waved my arms at it. Luckily I had bear spray and prepared myself to use it if the bear charged at me,” he continues.
“I slowly and safely started retreating back to my car and after a couple of minutes of it following me, I decided to start filming.
“The bear continued to follow me and was getting closer. When I was in a good position with the wind at my back and the bear coming close to me, I sprayed it with the bear spray. Thankfully the bear spray worked as designed and sent the bear running away.”
Matwishyn says that while being chased by the aggressive predator he still had a photographer’s instinct to carry on taking images.
“I was tempted to snap some photos as the bear was climbing up trees while following me but I opted to stay ready to use my bear spray and film the incident at the same time,” he writes on Instagram.
“This is not normal bear behavior and I was expecting this black bear to run away rather than follow me.”
“I believe that this bear likely has been fed, either intentionally by uninformed people or unintentionally through garbage or food not properly being secured,” he says.
“Hopefully, this beautiful young bear will learn to stay away from humans and that people will learn to be more responsible in both not feeding wildlife and carrying bear spray so they are ready to respond to a bear like this.”
Matwishyn put out a reminder that while exploring bear territory it’s a good idea to carry bear spray just in case.
Image credits: Header photos by Curtis Matwishyn/ViralHog.