Hiker uses beach ball as a shield against a black bear in Alaskan wilderness

Summer Lin
·1 min read

A man was hiking with his wife and friends in Alaska last week when they encountered a black bear and used a beach ball as a shield.

Niels Green was hiking the Tonsina Trail at the Lowell Point State Recreation Site near Seward on Thursday when his wife, Regina shouted “bear” and he saw his dog Hunter run past him across the bridge, Craig Medred reported.

Green found himself facing an adult black bear and had only a beach ball as his defense.

“I turned around, and it was about two feet away,” he said, Craig Medred reported. “He never looked at me. I just kept putting the ball in his face.”

Sarah Wallner, who was also on the hike, was mauled by a grizzly bear in 2007 but this time, she and Regina managed to jump to the other side of the bridge railing to avoid the bear, Alaska Public Media reported.

“Oh, not again. This is not happening,” Wallner recalled to the news outlet. “Like, this is not supposed to happen again.”

Meanwhile, Green kept using the beach ball “as a buffer” for two minutes before Regina grabbed the bear mace from her backpack and handed it to Green, who sprayed the bear, according to the publication. The bear left after that.

Regina posted about the incident on a Seward Facebook community group, warning others about the bear.

“Bear on Tonsina charged the dog onto the bridge with us. Not scared of people. Had to be bear maced in the face for it to leave,” she wrote Thursday.

Other hikers have reported seeing black bears on the trail.