Bears are extremely active right now as they seek to fatten up before going into torpor over the winter months, and in areas of Canada, it's not unusual to spot one on a hike. Two hikers got more than they bargained for this week, however, when they pulled up for a fall hike in Kananaskis, Alberta.
In a video posted to Instagram by an account attributed to Bree Lion, which you can watch below, a herd of bighorn sheep is seen running up to the car. Bighorn sheep are wild sheep that live in herds in the mountains and have cloven hooves that allow them to climb steep, rocky terrain.
Moments later, the video pans to reveal a lightning fast and presumably hungry grizzly bear in hot pursuit of the sheep, also running towards the car.
"This guy was ambling down the highway as we got to the parking lot but little did we know there was a herd of bighorn sheep hanging around as well. Turns out, grizzlies can move pretty fast when they are chasing after prey," writes Lion with the post.
Lion and her companion quickly jump back the car and continue to shoot as the sheep, and the bear, head down to join the road – then things get really interesting.
A photo posted by on
An unsuspecting biker then comes into frame, riding down the road and narrowly missing a collision with the bear, before realizing they are racing for dear life. The sheep instinctively follow the same corridor as the biker, and the bear continues to give chase.
After a few seconds, it seems the bear has given up, but gives things another go with a final sprint, the biker pedalling as fast as they can in the lead. The crafty sheep soon begin to scatter in all directions and the bear finally admits defeat, ambling off to find something else to eat.
"We just ruined his dinner," a voice off-camera can be heard remarking.
"I hope this video can be a good reminder that bears are out and about right now and they demand our respect and distance," writes Lion, adding, "Feeling like we got to experience something very special today that I won’t soon forget! What a beautiful creature and a wild day."
Like most wildlife, bears tend to avoid humans, but grizzly bears are known to charge and attack humans, and just this week two hikers and their dog were killed by a grizzly in Banff National Park.
All hikers recreating in bear country are reminded to keep their distance, observe wildlife from afar using binoculars, and carry bear spray on the trail. Learn more in our article on what to do if you meet a bear.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.