An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room.
The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
“Mom was able to gather up the kids and lock them in a back room with herself while the father and a friend tried to shoo the bear out of the main living area,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Roy Churchwell told KTOO. “The bear did jump on the friend at one point as they were trying to shoo it out.”
One of the children, a 2-year-old, had tried to touch the bear before his mother, Angela Lott, snatched him up and ran off to the bedroom, the Daily News said.
McVey and Lott tried to scare the bear off by yelling.
“He just jumped up and basically hit me, and then I kind of threw an elbow the same time he was hitting me, and he sat me right down,” McVey told the Daily News.
Instead of continuing the one-sided brawl, the panicked beast started searching for a fast exit, damaged the entryway, and escaped into the woods, KTOO reported.
Bear sightings and encounters are becoming more common in the area, Churchwell told KTOO. Churchwell says it’s likely because natural food sources aren’t as plentiful in the summer.
“There aren’t hardly any fish in the rivers for the bears to eat currently, and the berry crop seems to be pretty minimal and failed, maybe even failed in some areas,” Churchwell said.
Area residents have also spotted bears trying to break into vehicles, according to the outlet.
Authorities set traps near the residence following the attack and captured a different, smaller bear. The culprit is described as weighing between 250 to 300 pounds, and has a faded ear tag, KTOO said.
Bears have been more aggressive than usual this year, the National Park Service says.
At least seven people have been attacked by grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park since July 24, McClatchy News reported. There’s usually only one such incident by this point in the year.
Officials in Vermont say bears have taken to entering homes and behaving aggressively, McClatchy reported.
The Park Service had this advice for bear encounters: “If you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping,” NPS officials said. “Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground.”
Some pointers were a little tongue-in-cheek.
“Do NOT climb a tree,” NPS said. “Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees. Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).”