Diane Fillion is quick to remember the exact moment she encountered the black bears on her rural property in Lac du Bonnet, Man. It was 20 minutes to 2 p.m. on August 28, she says. The incident is hard to forget, especially since it was captured by Fillion’s home security camera.
The Manitoba resident had been in her front yard with her pet rottweiler, carrying a walking stick. The two were venturing into the property’s tree line when Fillion spotted three black bears—a mother and two cubs.
“My dog put one of the cubs in a tree, and then in a flash, the mom went after him,” she says. “It was just a blur of black and fighting. It was terrifying.”
Fillion backed out of the tree line, shouting and trying to make herself as big as possible to scare the bear off. Her dog raced past her and instead of continuing the chase, the bear turned its attention to Fillion.
“The next part, honestly, I don’t remember,” she says. “My brain just will not allow me to remember. I don’t know if it’s panic or the fight or flight mentality or your brain only manages what it can handle, but I don’t remember. I just remember [the bear’s] face.”
In the video, the mother bear charges Fillion, who swings at it with her walking stick. But the bear makes contact, knocking Fillion to the ground before running away. This is the part that Fillion doesn’t remember. After getting herself back up, she ran into the house to tell her husband what happened.
When describing the incident to him, she said thought she’d tripped. It wasn’t until they watched the security footage that she saw the bear make contact.
After colliding with Fillion, the mother bear and the two cubs scrambled up nearby trees. Fillion’s husband went outside and sat in his truck, trying to make noise to scare them off while the couple waited for the conservation authorities to arrive.
Recently, a mother bear and three cubs had been spotted in the area, and Fillion says she assumes that these were the same ones.
When conservation officers arrived at the scene they determined the best course of action was to leave the bear alone and that she and her cubs would eventually retreat into the forest.
As for Fillion, she escaped the encounter with nothing more than a sprained arm, while her dog suffered a small puncture wound. After watching the video, her kids’ response to the video was, “Mom, I’m not messing with you.”