Warning: one instance of fairly understandable NSFW language.
While most wild animals are more afraid of us than we are of them, a major exception to this rule is the grizzly bear. Standing as tall as 3 metres on their hind legs, and possessing jaws that can crush a bowling ball, the grizzly bear is not an animal you want to mess with.
This video, courtesy Brad Paras, follows a couple of mountain-bikers exploring a trail in Alberta’s Jasper National Park. What begins as a peaceful expedition becomes a close brush with oblivion when a grizzly bear charges downhill towards them.
The reason for the charge is unclear, though the cubs that appear later in the video are a likely culprit. When Paras turns to the right and sees the bear, he immediately veers off course as an angry momma bear comes loping toward him.
The cyclist’s instincts are sound: head in the opposite direction as fast as possible on. Grizzly sows who are moved to defend their cubs usually won’t maintain their charge if satisfied that the intruder is backing off.
While it was nice to catch some more footage of the baby cubs (at the 2:45 mark), it was an unnecessary risk. Their best course of action was to retreat the way they came.
It’s important to stay aware of your surroundings in the woods, especially when you are moving quickly and quietly on a bicycle in grizzly bear country.