A group of tourists with Scenic Bear Viewing were observing Alaskan coastal brown bears on the beach when one male decided to charge them in a heart-pounding encounter.
“I have been bear guiding for 9 years now,” Martin Boland of Scenic Bear Viewing told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors. “I know not to run, and after we get out of the plane, I tell my clients the rules. The No. 1 rule is no running, No. 2 is we all stay together.”
Fortunately, the four clients from Spain followed the rules. They all stayed in a tight group and yelled at the brown bear as it got closer and closer. (Note: On some servers, you might have to clink the link to view.)
“Never run from a charging bear, even though your instinct is to run,” Boland wrote on an Instagram post. “This is a bluff charge. They are just trying to get you to run. They have a natural chase instinct.”
As seen in the video, taken after the tide went out in Chinitna Bay on Lake Clark’s Cook Inlet, the brown bear veered off without incident, much to the relief of the tourists.
“Bluff charges are rare and this is the first time by an adult male for me,” Boland told FTW Outdoors. “It’s usually just the smaller sub-adult bears. It’s mating season so he was not from this area.
“This was a bear I had never seen before. He was just in the area to mate with the females and move on up the coast. He may have not seen humans before this encounter. The female bears in this area we see every year and they know we are not a threat. You can see in the video the female brown bear doesn’t care about us and is digging up clams.”