Imagine you’re walking in the woods and you spot a bear. What would you do?
Back away slowly? Shit your pants and cry? Try to take it down MMA-style?
While most of us would go for option A or B, a Sudbury man picked C and is shockingly still alive to tell the tale. Rick Nelson, 61, was walking his dog on a Sunday afternoon when he saw a bear cub. When it let out a yelp, he knew it was only a matter of time before mama bear arrived on the scene.
Fortunately, Nelson is a badass former bear hunter and boxer, so he put up his dukes and got down to it, so to speak.
“I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed,” Nelson told the CBC.
Nelson’s first punch hit the bear in the teeth, and the bear struck back, leaving some gnarly gashes across his chest and face. Nelson’s second punch was right on target: an uppercut to the snout. And that was that. The bear walked away with his cub like nothing ever happened.
Bear sightings are pretty common in Sudbury (by May, the Sudbury Police had already received 55 calls), but bear attacks are extremely rare according to the Ministry of Ontario.
“Black bears really aren’t dangerous unless you have a cub involved,” Nelson explained. “Probably they’re more afraid of you and [me] than we are of them.”
However, if you do get attacked, Nelson’s Chuck Norris impression may be your best chance of survival. If it is a close encounter, you should first try to make yourself look bigger and make noise to try and persuade the bear to leave. But, if the bear keeps advancing, the Ministry recommends you “fight back as if your life depends on it.”
Good to know.