Alaskan Man Faces Down Grizzly Bear and Lives

by Matthew Memrick

An Alaskan man’s reaction to a Grizzly bear has recaptured a social media buzz after a video of the encounter ended up on Reddit.

Newsweek reported that the social media platform rekindled a Feb. 2021 video of Caleb Jacques. The man and his family operate Grizzly Safaris in Iliamna, Alaska.

While holding a gun in one hand, Jacques barks at an approaching Grizzly bear while leading a tour group. Despite the animal’s desire to come close to him, Jacques scares it into turning around and leaving.

In a short time, the video garnered over 53,000 votes on Reddit. 

Grizzly Bear Walks Up To Tour Guide, Group

Jacques’s calm and casual demeanor may have saved his group’s life.

The man described the video, saying they were “watching a sow with spring cubs from a safe distance.” Meanwhile, a sub-adult bear comes walking up from the creek and heads in his group’s direction.

The guide sees the curious animal and concludes that he doesn’t have his repellent spray. Unfortunately, he loaned it to an apprentice guide you had it in his coat pocket. Jacques didn’t say if that guide was with the group or what.

So, he used his other two best bear deterrents. Jacques called him his voice and his body.

Guide, Bear Confront Each Other

Jacques added that the bear seemed curious more than anything else. It also appeared to be a stranger in the surroundings without its mother.

The guide flattered the animal in the video but held his gun. But his tone changed as the animal neared, telling it “no closer.”

But that didn’t do much.

Jacques instinctively makes a loud noise, telling the bear to “get.” The response startled the bear, but it wasn’t enough.

Off the video, the entire group put their hands in the air at Jacques’ instruction. The man continued to shout at the Grizzly and even lunged towards it. Jacques roared at it some more and called for it to “get on out of here.” 

Jacques Reflects On Bear Encounter

The bear guide deducted that his group was the first to meet with the curious bar. The man added that “because of proximity,” things “could have turned deadly for the bear and us in a split second.”

In retrospect, Jacques wished he had that bear spray because it could’ve helped the bear and any human next time. He said he would’ve sprayed the animal on its first bluff approach.

“That could possibly form a negative association with humans as a result, which for a young curious bear like this one might have been a good thing,” the guide said.

Video commenters admired Jacques’ technique and his overall handling of the situation.

“He is a real boss that handled this in the best way,” wrote one user.

“That guy knew exactly what he was doing and how to deal with that situation,” added another.