Australia is home to all manner of terrifying wildlife. From the Taipan snake, the most venomous in the world, to the blue-ringed octopus, whose toxic sting causes paralysis if not death, to the funnel web spider with its fondness for hiding in the shoes of unwitting residents of New South Wales.
What they don’t have, however, is the grizzly bear. Native to North America, these massive predators can grow to nearly 8 feet in height and weigh up to 800 pounds.
Despite their vicious reputation, grizzly bear attacks are exceedingly rare. In addition, the vast majority of grizzly attacks on humans are a result of a human purposefully or accidentally getting too close to a mama bear’s cubs.
But knowing that doesn’t necessarily make coming face to face with a colossal grizzly any less terrifying. So when an Australian hiker’s voice held a noticeable quake after spotting a grizzly bear casually following him and his party along a hiking trail near Alberta, Canada, who could blame him?
Despite the lack of grizzlies in Australia, the hiker had impeccable bear etiquette. While keeping an eye on the bear, the hiker slowly backed away, maintaining as calm a demeanor as possible. “Stay there, beary,” the terrified hiker said, his breath catching in his throat. “Don’t follow us. Don’t come towards us. I don’t want to use my bear spray.”
In an astounding turn of events, the bear appears to purposefully avoid the hikers. Rather than continue down the path, the bear goes around them. After making a wide arc through the woods, the bear reappears on the trail ahead of them and saunters away.
Tourist Approaches Grizzly Bear While Making Kissing Noises
Should you ever encounter a bear in the wild, handling it in virtually the exact same way as the Australian hiker is the way to minimize the risk of an attack. What you should never do, on the other hand, is intentionally approach a grizzly bear.
It should go without saying that a grizzly bear is not a dog or cat and should never be approached as such. Making kissing noises while walking within feet of a wild bear is putting yourself in a life-threatening situation.
Grizzly bears can run at 35 mph, far faster than the average human. Once it decides to chase you down, there’s no going back, which makes the actions of the man in this video nothing short of unbelievably moronic.
Spotting a grizzly bear on the side of the road, the man purposefully draws the bear’s attention. Perceiving him as a threat, the bear takes off at a run. Thankfully, the bear ran away rather than toward the man. But it very easily could’ve turned into a horrific mauling.