There’s no app for fending off polar bears, but your smartphone may help

Like the Amish, it seems like polar bears are also scared of cellphones.

Garett Kolsun is citing his cellphone as the saviour behind his close encounter with a 180-kilogram polar bear.

Early Saturday morning, Kolsun was walking along the main drag in Churchill, Manitoba—aka the polar bear capital of the world—when he caught a glimpse of something from the corner of his eye. He kept walking, and when he turned around, a polar bear was charging at him.

He starting running, looking for a place to take shelter, but all the shopsalong the street were closed. When he turned around again, the bear was right behind him. He shouted, screamed, and waved his arms frantically, all whilst running backwards to keep tabs on the bear.

The chase hit its climax when Kolsun was cornered on the porch of a bakery. The bear, which Kolsun believes was young because of its size, pinned him against the floor and gouged his hip.

Just as Kolsun was nose to snout with the bear, he snatched his cellphone from his pocket and flashed the screen at the bear.

The lit screen scared the bear slightly, causing it to hit a flowerpot on the porch, which gave Kolsun the opportunity to make his move. He ran for several blocks searching for a safe place. He finally found some people sitting outside on their porch. When he turned around again, the bear was gone.

Luckily for Kolsun, he only suffered minimal injuries and was back to work on Monday.

The young bear was captured later that day and promptly taken to the provincial polar-bear jail, a renovated military warehouse that has 28 holding cells for aggressive bears. In jail, he’ll join other adolescent bears who’ve caused a ruckus in Churchill.