Watch this climber fight off an aggressive bear

Originally published at: Watch this climber fight off an aggressive bear | Boing Boing


Save you some time: It all starts @ 1:00 minute.

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I am disappointed that this doesn’t have a DELIGHTFUL CREATURES tag.


Wow; that’s crazy. Climber is hella lucky.


In all fairness, the climber was in the bear’s habitat. Nonetheless, that’s awfully scary.

TIL there are bears in Japan.


I am surprised his hand was not broken, he punched the shit out of that rock when swinging for the bear.

A valiant rebuttal, indeed.

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the moral of the story to me is: don’t mute your bear bell!


Good for him. He handled it exactly correctly. Fight back hard and make lots of noise. This was a small black bear so he had better than even odds of being fine. Attacks are very rare and usually not too hard to fend off. A Grizzly is a different story- fight for your life, but your odds are not good.

That bear has a lot of mange and/or fur damage. It may be rabid (or otherwise diseased), very very hungry, or both. That would explain the attack, since black bear attacks are rare, especially in an unforgiving location like that.

In Canadian hiking circles, there’s a joke that you can tell bear poop on the trail because it has bells in it. There’s a lot of debate about whether bear bells do any good. They really aren’t loud enough to be heard until you’re on top of the bear anyway and have already surprised him. I’m not an expert on this though, so take this with a grain of salt. Personally, I carry an air horn and hike with my head on a swivel.


Have you found air horns effective? The last time I used mine the bear just kinda gave me this look…

They definitely scares the hell out of me when they go off, though.


i’ve heard that joke too, but he specifically said he muted his because he found it annoying, so why bother with one anyway? i think it’s worth a shot to carry one. animals have much better hearing than we do.

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Yeah - in the wilds of the Canadian Rockies - using a bell is more of a ‘lunch is coming’ feature for predators. Bear Bangers, Bear Spray and Air Horns way more effective.

I think this video is instructive in that it shows how quickly things can go down. You likely won’t have time to use any of the above upon first contact.

Thankfully - the bears we deal with - big grizzlies and black bears - are solitary creatures and mostly ignore you when you come across them.

PS -is anyone else surprised to see bears in Japan? Given how dense it is - population wise. To me - it’s like hearing about wolves in the UK.

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I’ve always heard that with black bears, make yourself big and scary (eg., lift your open jacket up over/behind your head to look bigger to a near-sighted bear), and make lots of aggressive noise. It might scare them away. However, with grizzlies, play dead.

I assume playing dead is practice for what you will actually be shortly.

In 2018 we hiked the Magome to Tsumago trail in Japan. There were several bear bells along the trail. We rang each one we saw. Never saw any bears. BTW, it’s a lovely hike, especially in the fall when the leaves have changed.


Oh yes. In fact, usually quite overkill. Yelling or banging my poles together also shoos them away, but the air horn makes me feel better. Usually he’s gone by the time I get the horn dug out of my pack. :joy:

Yah, I didn’t mean to sound dismissive there. No harm in carrying bells just in case. They are certainly less annoying than hiking with music on speakerphone, which I’m seeing more and more people do. Nothing ruins the woods quicker than other peoples’ music taste projected poorly.

Haha, yes, this is an old myth. Playing dead just makes you easier to eat. With a grizzly, don’t turn your back on it, don’t make eye contact, back away slowly, and if he comes at you, fight for your life. Your odds aren’t good but the only chance you have is to be too much trouble to bother with any longer. This is where bear spray may save your life.


Great! I’m going to keep carrying mine, then. Thanks!

I’m always surprised how easily frightened large animals can be of loud noises. I’ve seen polar bears skedaddle because someone was shooting a .22 in the air (that someone was me and I’m still shocked it worked).

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As the climber himself stated. But there’s a difference between “I understand where this animal is coming from and bear it no ill will” and “I will now readily allow this animal to kill me out of my deep respect for the natural world.”

At any rate those of us in North America should be the last to chide anyone from venturing into “bear habitat” since our entire continent was once bear habitat (and would be again if we didn’t keep shooting them or otherwise pushing them away).

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I met a guy on a trail once who carried a shotgun, mainly for scaring things off (he said). Seemed like an awfully heavy thing to lug around for that, or maybe he wasn’t be straight with me about why he was carrying it. Seemed like a nice guy though. :sweat_smile:

There are bears in the woods right behind my house and this is a well developed area, so yah. Safe to say we’re all sharing every habitat now, for better or worse,