By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A man chased by a hungry bear in Grand Teton National Park over the weekend has uploaded a video of his encounter with the animal.
Evan Matthews went for a casual run in the park over the weekend (the video was uploaded Saturday) and encountered a black bear which was apparently fresh out of the den.
“I’ve seen plenty of bears in the wild, but this was the first time one had shown any interest in me. He must have been extra hungry!” Matthews said, adding he was followed for about one-half mile by the bear.
In the 3-minute video, Matthews can be heard yelling at the bear, telling it to leave him alone.
“I don’t care if you’re hungry, I’m not your food,” Matthews told the bear.
He did have bear spray with him, but never used it as the bear never got within 20 yards of him.
Matthews said he didn’t run away from the bear because that could have led the animal to see him as prey and prompted the bear to chase him.
“Being that I am not prey, I stood my ground when it charged (showing it that I’m not a prey animal) then backed away slowly,” Matthews said.
He also didn’t play dead, because that would have made him an easy target for the bear. He recommended playing dead only if a mother bear with cubs is attacking, since she can perceive the threat to be over.
Matthews added that he kept talking to the bear to show it that he was a human so the bear would not mistake him for another animal.
He clarified that although the bear in the video is brown, it is a cinnamon phase black bear.
“Not all bear encounters are the same. In most cases, I’ve been able to just go around the animal. But this one was interested in me, so I had to change its mind!” Matthews said.