Jack Hanna recently encouraged hikers to carry bear pepper spray in a public service message for the National Park Service. If you don’t know who Jack Hanna is, he’s a TV host, Columbus Zoo keeper, and a frequent guest of the David Letterman show.
While encouraging others to do so, Hanna has also carried Bear Mace while hiking in the woods for over 15 years, and never had to use it himself… until this past weekend in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
Hanna and his wife Suzi were finishing up a 5-mile hike from Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park on Saturday. Another set of three hikers were also in close proximity. As the group continued down the path and turned a blind corner, a mother grizzly bear with two large cubs were making their way up the trail towards them, not 30 feet ahead.
This particular trail has a steep drop-off on one side, and a sheer cliff on the other, without any real escape path. “We thought of letting them go by, but the trail was cut into the rock and was too narrow,” Hanna said. “So I said: ‘Everybody talk loud and we’ll back up until we can get off the trail.’ “
Hanna reported it seemed more like 1/2 an hour, but in reality the five of them slowly backed up the trail for about 5 minutes. They met up with another 2 hikers, a man and his 10-year-old son coming down the path. Now the 7 of them were backing up with no visible place to go but backwards. Eventually a small rocky clearing granted the group as much of a break as they were going to get. Hanna instructed the group to “crawl up the hill and put your backs against the wall.”
The mother bear and one of the cubs kept on going up the path, passed by the hikers and wandered off into another clearing up the trail. The other cub lagging about 15 yards behind the other two bears took particular notice of the frightened but calm group and decided to charge directly at them. Although smaller than an average human, that 125 pound grizzly bear cub is very strong and vicious, armed with very sharp claws and teeth, and has the potential to attract some pretty hefty back up, namely his 125 pound sibling and 400 pound mama!
Heeding is own public service advice, Hanna pulled out his canister of pepper spray for bears, and readied himself as the bear rushed forward.
“At about 30 feet I unload my pepper spray, and the wind takes it,” said Hanna, but the bear kept coming.
“Then I unload the second spray,” said Hanna, but the bear still kept coming.
“Then the third time I unload that pepper spray right in his face,” continued Hanna, forcing the bear to break off the charge and flee.
“You can’t do anything with a grizzly; they can run a football field in seconds,” said Hanna, “There’s no way I could hit that bear with a gun.”
This was the same trail where a California man and his daughter were severely mauled five years ago by a mother bear and two cubs.
On average, 35 individuals per year are mauled by bears in the United States. Don’t become another statistic! Protect yourself with bear strength pepper spray and arm yourself against possible bear attacks with safe, humane Bear Pepper Mace.
Our bear pepper spray has the strongest EPA approved animal repellent rating (2.0% Capsaicinoids) with an extreme blast range of 20-30 feet! Regular human pepper spray is not the same as bear pepper spray. Strap a can of Bear Pepper Mace to your side before you head out on your next outdoor adventure and store another can in your pack. Feel secure that you have a personal defense spray that can stop a possible bear attack. Bear Pepper Mace. Accept no substitutes.
Hopefully you go 15 years or more before you ever need to use it, just like Jack Hanna. But don’t be caught without it when you really, and I mean really need to use it.
Related Blog Posts:
Start Packing your Bear Pepper Spray and Bear Mace
Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears
Get the Bear Necessities
Pepper Spray for Bears – Hunters, Hikers, Campers be Warned
Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi
Not All Bears are Cute and Cuddly
When Bears Attack!
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