A hiker from Washington has shared a video showing an extremely close encounter with a bear on a narrow woodland trail. Yuriy Trebushnoy posted the video on a group for hikers and climbers (opens in new tab) in the state, sharing his words of wisdom for others who might find themselves in a similar situation.
In the clip, Trebushnoy keeps speaking to the bear calmly while backing away to give the animal space to cross the trail comfortably. He keeps a can of bear spray to hand just in case as the animal makes its way along the trail looking for a suitable place to leave, but it eventually descends into the woodland without incident.
In his post, Trebushnoy explained that the most important thing to remember in this situation is not to panic, and keep in mind that the animal probably has no interest in you. "Chances are the animal is just trying to get from point A to point B and you happen to be in the middle," he wrote. "Find a spot on the trail where one of you can go around."
Trebushnoy says this was his ninth bear encounter, and even though the creature was within 10 feet, he didn't feel threatened.
Habituation is an increasingly common problem with bears, as they become accustomed to humans, develop a taste for our food, and lose their natural wariness.
Bear encounters are on the rise in many states, and conventional methods of protecting yourself and your belongings are sometimes not enough. Hikers in the Adirondacks have been advised to store their provisions in bear canisters or use lockers provided at campsites rather than suspending them in the trees, as bears have become wise to other techniques.
For more practical advice on what to do in a close encounter, see our guide what to do if you meet a bear.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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