Not many people can say that they have come face-to-face with a mother black bear and only have a few scratches to show for it. But, Diane Fillion of Manitoba Canada is someone who certainly can! Luckily for her, she knew what to do and a home security camera captured a portion of the encounter. Otherwise, she never would have known what truly happened that day.
It all started on a Saturday when Diane was playing in her front yard with her handsome Rottweiler, Ozzy. As they were rounding a corner of her property, Ozzy spotted a bear cub and put him in a tree. Seconds after the cub was situated, the large, hairy mother bear made direct eye contact with Diane and suddenly began to charge.
“We’ve got myself and my dog and three bears all looking at each other. The dog put one of the cubs in the tree, and then the mom came after my dog, and the fight started,” said Diane.
On her security footage, you can see Ozzy running full speed away from the bear, and past Diane who was starting to make noise and attempting to back away. Luckily, she was able to grab a large stick before the bear knocked her to the ground. Once she had fallen, Diane began trashing the stick at the bear, hoping to appear larger than she was. Her tactics were successful, and shortly after, the footage shows the bear running to the same tree where Ozzy put her cub.
“I thought I had tripped, and then we pulled our security cameras and then we realized no, the bear actually hit me,” said Diane
Before she pulled her security footage, the details were a bit foggy to Diane. In fact, she had convinced herself that she had tripped, as opposed to being pushed by the bear. Diane explained that after she spotted the bear, everything seemed to happen in an instant. After the bears ran to the tree, Diane contacted Manitoba Conservation for advice on how to proceed. They recommended simply waiting for the mother bear and her cubs to leave the area.
In the last few months, there has been an increase in the number of local bear sightings. Experts from the area claim it’s largely due to the lack of summer rainfall.
“There’s a lot less water on the landscape for bears to access, so they’re out on the land looking for permanent sources of water,” explained Pauline Bloom, a wildlife biologist from Manitoba.
Now that bear sightings are becoming more and more common, it seems that an increased number of people may experience something similar. If you find yourself confronted by a bear, back away or walk away slowly. Do not turn and run.
“We don’t believe that she was trying to be mean. She was just like, get away from my babies, and she made her point. And we said OK,” shared Diane.