Though bear attacks are rare, they do occur. And so far this year, we’ve reported on a number of harrowing bear attacks, including a rare fatal predatory black bear attack in Arizona.
That said, our news coverage of bear attacks is typically pretty brief. There are often few details, let alone photos or video footage. That’s what makes this video, recorded by Richard Wesley back in 2017, so exceptional. It shows the exact point of view of a bear attack victim. Spoiler alert: It’s scary.
According to CBC News, Wesley was archery hunting at his family’s property near Hearst, a town in Ontario, when he spotted a large black bear. What happened next was captured on Wesley’s GoPro-style camera. When the bear spots Wesley, it charges him and takes him down. For a brief moment, the camera faces the ground, leaving the viewer to wonder if the bear had killed him, then Wesley reemerges in the frame, quickly retreating to wherever his car is, I assume.
“He jumped on top of me and all I could remember thinking was ‘I’m going to have to try to jab him in the face,'” Wesley told CBC News. He reportedly jabbed the bear with an arrow, before it fled back into the bush. “I’m a First Nation, Cree-Ojibwa, I’m usually pretty dark,” he said. “My friend just called me from Thunder Bay and he said. ‘You looked really white man…I said, ‘I’m surprised I didn’t look green.'”
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While this story vividly depicts what can go wrong in bear country, it has a happy ending for Wesley, who suffered only minor injuries and said that a week later, he killed a bear he thought was the same one that attacked him. That time, though, he was hunting from a treestand.